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Watch: funny Danish road safety ad reminds cyclists that helmets have always been a good idea

Why you should wear a helmet, even if it 'makes your scalp itch'

Photo by: Danish Road Safety Council

A new advertisement from the Danish Road Safety Council promoting helmet use is both fun and effective. The short film, created by Danish advertising agency &Co., is titled “Helmet has always been a good idea.” It pokes fun at the logic cyclists use for not wearing a helmet but takes place long before the invention of the bicycle.

The video starts with the setting: Denmark in the year 893.

A group of Vikings are corralling, getting ready to set sail for England, when the son of the leader runs out of his house carrying a helmet. “Wait dad!” he exclaims as he runs out of the house and approaches his father’s horse.

The leader ignores the child, pretending he cannot see the helmet, but his friend stops him to ask “Svend, shouldn’t you be wearing a helmet?”

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” he replies. “I’m a careful rider.”

“No one is saying you aren’t careful,” his friend, Hjalmar mumbles. When Svend asks mockingly if he should be running around England with a helmet on Hjalmar replies that yes, he should.

The Vikings go back and forth a bit more, as Svend gives excuses such as “I’m not the type that wears a helmet” and “it ruins my braids.” Finally, Svend’s wife comes outside and tells him he’s not going looting and pillaging in England if he doesn’t wear his helmet.

He puts on the helmet and, walking out of the town square hits his head on an arch. The ad ends with a statement: “Helmets have always been a good idea.”

Helmets in Denmark

In Denmark, there are no laws requiring cyclists to wear a helmet. The Danish Cyclists’ Federation recommends that cyclists wear helmets but it is “against helmet compulsion.” The federation says that a helmet protects the individual cyclist in case of an accident, but “making the helmet mandatory could devastate the Danish bicycle culture. ”

“We think it is common sense for cyclists to wear helmets,” says a statement on helmet wear by the Danish Cyclists’ Federation.