The Filip Nilsson Scholarship

The Filip Nilsson Scholarship illustration

Advertising is supposed to reach everyone. No matter where you live, how much you earn, what you enjoy doing, or where you come from. But the people who work in advertising are not from particularly diverse backgrounds. The Swedish advertising industry is simply too homogeneous and lacks people with genuinely different experiences and perspectives.

Which is odd. We would gain so much from greater diversity in our industry. And our agency would, too.

Filip Nilsson worked at Forsman & Bodenfors between 1988 and 2013. He was — and is — a person who has always cherished originality. He never wanted to be part of the cookie-cutter establishment. Filip had a vision: an advertising industry that is able to accommodate the most unusual talent — not just white, urban middle class. But we are not there yet, and things need to start changing.

Therefore, we are now establishing a scholarship in Filip Nilsson’s name. Each year, we will give a person who wants to learn more about the advertising industry the opportunity to be with us for three months. The scholarship consists of a unique insight into the advertising world and a grant of SEK 60,000. But only strange birds need apply: People who do not have a typical advertising education. People who, through their background, can bring new perspectives.

It is up to you, as an applicant, to freely show how you are different and in what ways you think that the advertising industry could learn from you, and vice versa.

You may well already have some form of (non-advertising related) education or training. We are distributing this call partly through colleges and higher education, since we believe that there are many ambitious and creative people to be found in those environments: talents whose backgrounds are different from those who attend exclusive marketing colleges. If this scholarship was to be able to complement your own training, that would be an added benefit.

Even those without a college education are welcome. As long as you are over 18 years of age, are a Swedish resident, and have the right incentives and motivation you are eligible.

The deadline for applications is May 12. In early June, we will announce who receives the scholarship.

The Basics

Please introduce yourself, either through a letter or through any other form of medium (audio, video, image, and so on). The length of this presentation should not exceed the equivalent of an A4 page.

Further, provide the following contact details:

• Name, age, gender, postal address, email address, phone number.

• Web links to your homepage or portfolio (optional).

• Briefly, information on previous training and/or degrees held.

• Please let us know whether you wish to attend a traineeship, when, and at which office.

The Assignment

As part of the application, we are asking you to solve a fictional task. You may choose to solve it in whichever way you want — you could propose a fictional advertising campaign that you comprehensively describe, you could use illustrations, photos, graphics, digital productions, video — any medium of your choice. You may focus on design aspects or, if you rather prefer, on the strategic aspects. However, it is important that you try to justify why and how you have chosen the particular solution that you propose.

Here’s the fictional task: Several studies show that children and young people read less and less. How do you get young people to take more interest in the written word and start reading more? In short: How to increase reading?

Submissions should be emailed to and the deadline for submissions is May 12, 2014.

The small print

Selection criteria:

• The applicant must be someone who has ambitions to learn more about advertising, but who — for whatever reason — is experiencing obstacles to this goal.

• The applicant must not have a formal advertising education, vocational training, or any other connection to the advertising and media industries.

• The applicant must be over 18 years old.

• The applicant must be a Swedish resident.

• The applicant should ideally have an additional native language in addition to English or Swedish.

• The application documents should demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, visual skills and/or linguistic ability.

• Applicants who are currently enrolled to educational programs or college degrees and who can demonstrate that the scholarship will help them as part of this ongoing training should count this as an advantage.

The grant is a gift. It is not in any way a payment or a reimbursement for a task or a job. If and when the selection criteria are met and a recipient is chosen, no service is expected in return.

The payment of the grant is done on request, in such a way that invoices need to be presented which prove that the recipient is enrolled to an educational program or college degree. Alternatively, the payment can be made in exchange for a formal requisition where the recipient specifies what expenses are to be covered by the grant — for example accommodation, food, travel, broadband, phone bills, clothing.

Regarding the three months’ traineeship, the time slot when these are expected to occur is optional, but in order to fit internship periods within higher education, the applicant is invited to possibly place this time period during the fall (September, October, November).

In the application, the applicant shall state whether he/she wishes to receive workplace training/internship, which office he/she wishes to visit, and when. Forsman & Bodenfors offers to host a traineeship during three months, but the applicant is entirely free to choose whether he/she wishes to intern at this particular agency during the time period. Forsman & Bodenfors does not pay for accommodation, travel, or any other expenses.

Regarding the sketches that the applicants submit to Forsman & Bodenfors, the agency is granted a free disposal of those during the admissions period. All copyrights related to the material are held by the applicant. The applicant is advised not to send original sketches, as the agency can not take responsibility for the copies of the sketches, and will not be able to return any copies to the applicants once the admissions period is over.

Those candidates who can count the optional three-month period as a formal training period (as part of their ongoing educational program or college degree) will have an advantage in the vetting process.

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, the admissions process, or the requirements, please email Jonas Andersson Schwarz: