Tomas Mazetti and Hannah Frey, the “furious” Swedish couple who hate Wham’s Last Christmas so much they want to buy it and pull it off the airwaves forever, have been behind a string of similar viral news stories which have gone around the world over the last decade.
The campaign by the Gothenburg-based couple to raise enough money to buy the omnipresent Christmas hit and pull it forever off the airwaves got significant coverage over the Christmas period, with the UK’s Daily Star, Sun, and Daily Mail, and the New York Post tabloids, and Sweden’s Expressen newspaper, all running versions of the story.
Hannah was quoted in The Sun explaining how she had hated the 1980s Christmas hit ever since she worked in an Oxford cafe 13 years ago, where it was played on repeat.
“The owner had a CD with a number of ‘hits’,” she said. “He didn’t appreciate the agony the staff felt when Last Christmas played for the 111th time of the working day.”
She said that the couple had this year “asked friends how much they would pay to never hear it again — quite a lot, it turned out.”
The couple claim to have received pledges of £112,705 USD from 1,294 donors towards the estimated $15m-$25m needed to buy the rights from the song’s owner Warner Chappell.
Mazetti, described as “a writer” in the New York Post, is in fact one of Sweden’s most successful generators of viral sensation.
As the co-founder of Studio Total and now of the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, he has been responsible for a string of viral stories which have, just like today’s Last Christmas plan, been reported all over the world.
After The Local first published this story, Hannah Frey, tweeted “I hope you like our joke” in response, posting a link to the couple’s campaign, No More Last Christmas, which is described as their “yearly Christmas card”.
Studio Total was in 2011 behind a viral story about a sex school launched in Vienna.
The world’s first college of applied sexuality, AISOS, would, according to its website emphasize “hands on” lessons in lovemaking, and was due to open in mid-December 2011. Mazetti fessed up to his involvement a month later.
“We had just carried out a scam in Austria where we sent out misprinted Kafka books to the press. Just after this was revealed, we held the press conference for the sex school and no one questioned the news,” he told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
The studio was also behind a stunt by the Swedish feminist Gudrun Schyman, who burned 100,000 kronor (approximately $14,000) in a protest against unequal pay in 2010.
It then carried out “Teddybear Airdrop Minsk 2012”, in which a plane piloted by Mazetti entered Belarusian airspace and dropped 1,000 teddy bears holding cards and banners with protest slogans. See images from Studio Total here.
The operation triggered a major diplomatic incident, with Sweden’s ambassador to Belarus expelled, a Belarusian border guard being jailed, and Belarus withdrawing its ambassador from Sweden for six years.
The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, meanwhile, developed a magnet powered flying carpet for dogs, as part of a campaign for the Swedish furniture company MiCasa, getting a write up in Wired Magazine, among other media.
Mazetti then co-founded Wheelys Cafe, a real business based around chain of mobile cafés mounted on box bikes. The company was closed down in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: The Local News