Connect to share and comment

42 Swedes change name for chance to move to Berlin

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Forty-two Swedes legally changed their names to Klaus-Heidi to participate in a Lufthansa competition offering a flight to Berlin and a one-year free apartment rental, the German airline said Tuesday.

"This was on one condition: you had to change your name to Klaus-Heidi," Lufthansa marketing specialist Magnus Engvall said.

The Swedes' response to the initiative, which was intended to promote the German airline's Stockholm-Berlin route, exceeded all expectations the company had at the outset.

"We had scenarios of zero people when we first started with the idea," Engvall said.

The airline said on its competition website it chose the name Klaus-Heidi simply because it was "a fusion between two very German names".

Less than a week after launching the campaign in October, the Swedish authorities confirmed the first name change.

In addition to official proof of their new identity, participants had to send a motivation letter explaining why they wanted to move to Berlin.

The winner of the competition, 24-year-old Michael Klaus-Heidi Andersson, will also get free private German lessons and a bike with his -- new -- name on it.

"I was incredibly happy when they said I had won," said Andersson, whose motivation letter was a poem dedicated to Germany.

Andersson has no intention to change his name back.

"Even if I hadn't won, I would have kept the name," he said. "It's a great ice-breaker."

efb/ph/rmb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131217/42-swedes-change-name-chance-move-berlin