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This Promotional Video for Copenhagen Is a Joke, Right?

Please, please let it be a joke.
24.11.14

If you've been thinking about moving to Copenhagen but you're worried there aren't enough dickheads with  ​Heisenberg tat​toos there, you're in luck: some company called Pandox is building a hotel-cum-hostel in trendy Vesterbro called Urban House, and it's essentially a knobhead's cathedral. Like, live-in bike mechanic who almost certainly has one long, curling dreadlock snaking like a rat tail down his back level of awful. Look at it. Look at the absolute state of it:

Is this a joke? Are we living inside a joke? Has there been some imperceptible shift overnight and we are now living inside a wholly-realistic-but-ultimately-doomed joke universe?

Let's look at the evidence that this might be a joke, starting with the actual words "authentic vibes" being said in a breathy, I-just-climaxed-by-oiling-my-bike-chain voice-over; the blonde girl at 0:25 pulling a peace sign opposite a derelict-looking Thai restaurant; the words "together we laugh at conformity" being said without being immediately followed by a massive, honking laugh.

Annons

But before you get your hopes up that Urban House in the next fuck-the-hipsters viral sensation and forward it on to your mum, just consider this for a moment: it is not a joke. This place is currently in construction. It will open in March 2015. And then 950-odd people who just watched that video and thought, "You know what? It isn't about fashion. It is about style! I wonder if they have a special central tap built into the sink that spits out €6 lattes?" will move in.

And then Vesterbro will finally complete its transition from buzzing city enclave to actual, real-life Instagram filter.

But perhaps you are striving to become the physical embodiment of hipsterdom and comic book gentrification that Urban House wants you to become. Perhaps you're like, "Microbreweries and veganism? Get me to Copenhagen! How do I get to Copenhagen? I want to go to Copenhagen right now!" That's fine, but it's a big decision. Let's go through the video again, frame-by-frame, and see if you really want to become a fully fledged urban Copenhagen dickhead or not.

00:00 - The first 30 seconds of the video were presumably conceptualised at a meeting in the kind of cafe where the menu is just a clipboard and yet, inexplicably, Eggs Benedict is still north of €15 to sit in and eat. Here is what a brainstormed idea of "City Activity" is: slow bicycle riding on a frigid Danish day; a voice-over in an obscure Australian/British accent that sounds like what would happen if a motivational poster learned to talk; people making creative hand gestures in boutique restaurants with high ceilings; glassy sunlight.

00:07 - "You are different, like us," we are told, while looking at a Scandinavian girl sitting on a train and texting.

00:11 - Here's the token non-White person, followed by everyone's favourite manifestos of marketable multiculturalism –"creative melting pot", "ethnic chic", and "buzzing with authentic vibes". Sweet! At least the team behind Urban House clearly did their homework before trying to convince us their development is a hub for ethnic pizazz.

00:25 - "Wagwan, player!" this girl's don't-give-a-fuck-peace-sign-and-a-bicycle-pose seems to say. "Just stopping off here to do an #ootd shoot before whipping up a batch of gluten-free muffins. Not going to stick around too long, mind – 8PM onwards and this is nothing but heavy dudes trying to pick up transgender Thai sex workers. Peace!"

00:30 - This is a commendably ambitious chapter in the Urban House saga. In under 15 seconds, the narrator informs us there will be a smorgasbord of "quirky cafes", "original microbreweries", "neighbouring fishmongers", "local art galleries" and even "buzzing sustainable restaurants" to tickle our fancies once we become the Vestebro cool-hunters Pandox believes we can be.

Now, it would be nice if that list was accompanied by visuals other than desaturated close ups of regular pints of beer (and a potato?) and totally bland looking fish on a plate, but maybe we're asking too much.

00:49 - Next, we're told that Copenhagen-ers "don't do fashion – we do style", and are presented with the most convincing embodiment of the statement these guys could think of – a dude wearing a trucker hat, bombarding our poor eyes with two dense sleeves of tattoos. He also has two half-litre cans of beer laying in front of a man bag, because street fights don't start themselves.

00:55 - The chapter rounds off with some shots of basketball hoops and that Scandi chick being unique on a train again before we're told that Copenhageners are – wait for it - "life aficionados". Most people who are alive are life aficionados, Pandox.

01:08 - "Labels are for other people," we're told. Apart from the label "life aficionados". That's different. Different kind of label. Then there's some slow-mo hair-flipping by some a chick in a tube top, because being alive is brilliant.

01:11 - How do you do, fellow kids? Anyone want to "get radical" and "pop an ollie" down on the bench outside the park? Police mainly leave us alone if we don't smoke tiny little joints or throw our broken boards on top of that Portaloo.

01:30 - And then this, one final word crime which sounds more like the kind of sage advice your brassy friend gives you after a bad break-up rather than a tourism slogan. The highlight of this whole section is the graphic treatment at the end – using a font which I honestly didn't know was still possible to find, so evocative of MTV circa 1994 as it is – which tells us, "No one tells us where to go or where to stay."

​​Apart from Copenhagen. Do Copenhagen. That is their hashtag. Don't let anyone tell you what to do or say… but #docopenhagen.

So, if you're after a video that sums up literally everything that any sane person hates about the commercialisation of culture and/or nonsensical gentrification, look no further. Urban House will provide you with everything you need to become your ultimate self: a really annoying, stereotype-oriented and, yes, urban Copenhagen resident.