Norges Bank’s unconventional cod-themed video goes viral

Norges Bank became the world’s first central bank to tweet an interest rate decision in June 2009. Last week, the central bank of Norway's communications came to the forefront of the international attention again.

Its unconventional communication campaign featuring a fish-themed music video to spread the word about its redesigned 200-krone banknote with the cod as a dominant motif became an online hit internationally. Hundreds of thousands viewed the video on Facebook and YouTube within a few days.

The video traces the journey of fish from the sea to the printing presses to people’s wallets. It even features a cameo by central bank governor Øystein Olsen.

Many international viewers, including fellow central bankers, were amused by the video despite not being able to understand a word. A Norges Bank spokesperson responded to requests for English translation of the lyrics:

I am afraid this text will be lost in translation. There are a number of rhymes and references to Norwegian popular culture that are impossible to convey to an international audience.

Quite naturally, the primary audience for the music video were Norwegians who will be carrying the cod-themed banknotes in their purses.

Creativity of Norges Bank's communication department, which came up with the idea of using a remake of a 1980s comedy song to promote the new banknote, clearly paid off. Thanks to the international media buzz surrounding the music video, there are likely to be very few Norwegians who have not yet heard about the code on the 200-krone banknote.

Watch the video on YouTube below: