Originally Posted by Colophon
If you're like me, you've probably absent-mindedly read the back of the shampoo/shower gel/whatever while performing your ablutions and waiting for the morning coffee to kick in.
If so, you might have noticed (at least if you're in the UK) that a huge number of men's toiletry products - shaving foam, deodorant shower gel, even razor blades themselves - have the product information in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish as well as English. And only those languages.
Why is this? By far the most common "second language" seen on products in Europe is French, and lots of women's toiletries indeed have French. Food products often have German and Spanish. But pick up a can of shaving foam and it's Scandinavian a gogo. Hardly any other product category does. What's up with that?
Are these UK-made products? Apparently at least one UK men's toiletries firm has found the Scandinavian market very receptive
Scandinavia is often a happy hunting ground for UK entrepreneurs [...]
Further benefits of going to Scandinavia were uncovered. Surprisingly, Swedish law did not require any changes to the packaging, which meant the goods could be shipped straight out of the UK as soon as there was an order. [...]
Exporting to a country such as Sweden was not much harder than shipping goods to Bristol.
So I can see how it would make sense for British manufacturers to put Swedish, Norwegian, etc. text on their labels: instant international marketing.
Likewise, if the products are made and marketed in Scandinavian countries themselves, well duh, naturally they include text in those languages.
If these products aren't being either made in or sold in Scandinavian countries and the Swedish/Norwegian/Finnish/etc. text is just a marketing ploy, my guess would be that the ad guys think that Scandinavian cultures have connotations of cool-and-well-groomed-yet-manly. French or Italian might seem a bit "gigolo-esque" but Norwegian is hip?... Sorry, I got nothing.