Postcard from... South Funen


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The Independent Online

When the mayors of South Funen in Denmark came together to make a promotional video, there was an obvious choice for the creative direction.

Bjarne Nielsen, Karsten Landro, Curt Sorensen and Hans Jørgensen decided to highlight the vibrant maritime towns and regional delights – including smoked cheese and silos – with their take on global superstar Psy’s smash-hit track, Gangnam Style.

Decked out in ill-fitting jackets and mayoral chains, the four Funen leaders performed a rendition of the South Korean’s pony dance and even attempted some freestyle thrusting and arm twirling, accompanied by the original track.

The overall effect, a lot like geography teachers at a school disco, proved a mini internet sensation when it was uploaded to YouTube last month. The spirited mayors were celebrated as “fun-loving” and Susanne Linnet Aagaard from the production company Future Factory who made the video, said: “It is also a film we will use going forward in our teaching with branding and communication!”

But things turned sour when Universal Music, who own the original’s copyright, threatened legal action. The label argued that while there are countless parodies of Gangnam Style online, tolerated as tributes, the mayors’ version was intended to generate profit and boost the candidates’ careers, and demanded 240,000 krone (around £27,000) for use of the song.

While the mayors consult lawyers, the video has been swiftly dubbed over with canned laughter, applause and Samba music. This, it seems, is the new South Funen Style.