Written by on Dec 1, 2010. Posted in Production News

Philips shoots in Earth’s northernmost town

The town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, far off Norway’s north coast, may not be everyone’s idea of a fun place for a business trip. That didn’t stop electronics giant Philips heading up to what’s officially the world’s northernmost town to film a new commercial for their Wake-up Light called Wake up the Town - Arctic Experiment.

One of the downsides of being in such a northerly location is that as a result of the Earth tilting on its axis Longyearbyen is plunged into four months of darkness from the end of October to March. This is what made Philips choose the town to test its Wake-up Light, which is designed to wake people each morning by simulating a natural sunrise.

Dan Kreeger, Head of New Business at Stamp Films, said: “We considered filming in places like Canada and Finland, but we wanted somewhere a bit different."

"As well as being officially the most northerly settlement in the world, Svalbard offers dramatic landscapes and a range of different people - from miners to academics - among what’s actually a sizable population.”

Longyearbyen doesn’t have a filmmaking infrastructure to speak of so the production took its own equipment. What it does have is an airstrip so access from Norway is quite a lot easier than it perhaps appears from a quick glance at a world map.

Nick Bassermann, International Account Manager with Tribal DDB Amsterdam, said: “There are surprisingly good connections from mainland Norway and Tromso out to Svalbard. We went out in March to introduce ourselves, take some pictures and get permission from the Mayor to film there, before returning in September and October.”

Philips’ experiment is ongoing and an independent research company is studying the results. They’re keen to ensure the process is recognised as being more than an advertising campaign.

Client: Philips
Agency: Tribal DDB Amsterdam
Creative Director: Neil Dawson
Agency Producer: Jeroen Jedaloo
Production Company: Stamp Films, London
Producer: Scott O’Donnell
Director of Photography: Denzil Armour-Brown
Director: Doug Pray


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  • Vidar Trellevik


    Svalbard is an exotic part of Norway. Our company VPB Media is based in Bergen, and has experience to work in cold winter climate. Please contact if you consider shooting in the Artic surroundings. And remember it is only four months with darkness!