Category A02. Applied Innovation
Idea Creation FORSMAN & BODENFORS Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Media Placement VERIZON, DENMARK
Production BLECK Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Björn Engström Forsman & Bodenfors Creative
Kim Cramer Forsman & Bodenfors Creative
Stefan Thomson Forsman & Bodenfors Creative
Anton Eriksson Forsman & Bodenfors Creative
Viktor Eriksson Forsman & Bodenfors Creative
Greger Andersson Forsman & Bodenfors Account Supervisor
Åsa Pedersen Forsman & Bodenfors Account Manager
Daniel Sjöstrand Forsman & Bodenfors Planner
Bjarne Darwall Forsman & Bodenfors PR Strategist
Anna Junker Lundin Forsman & Bodenfors Agency Producer Film
Ingrid Arnsand Jonsson Forsman & Bodenfors Designer
Jerry Wass Forsman & Bodenfors Designer
Peter Gaudiano Forsman & Bodenfors Web Strategist
Malin Careborg Forsman & Bodenfors Web Strategist
Helena de Brun Forsman & Bodenfors Technical Producer
Andy Holt Drewman Guitars Guitar Designer
Marcus Svanberg Bleck Director
Robert Feniger Bleck Producer
Josefin Kollberg Bleck Executive Producer
Carl Nilsson Bleck D.O.P
Jo Eken Torp Bleck D.O.P
Andres E Sanchez Bleck D.O.P
Johan Kjellberg Bleck Editor
Oscar Fogelström Oscar Fogelström Music Composer
Patrik Olsson Patrik Olsson Photographer

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

The world’s first smash-proof guitar was innovated to create awareness and to change the perception of the Sandvik brand in our specific target group - “tech people”. Because Sandvik’s technologies are so highly specialized and abstract, the target group was not aware of what Sandvik can achieve. At the same time, our research showed that “tech people” also are surprisingly interested in pop culture, and specifically music. That’s why creating a smash-proof guitar was a perfect way to showcase Sandvik’s cutting-edge competence within metal 3D printing, materials knowledge, and digital manufacturing processes.


Sandvik is a world-leading industrial engineering company with 42,000 employees in 150 countries. However, the awareness and knowledge about Sandvik's advanced techniques were very low outside existing customer relations. This is a problem when attracting talent. Especially since the rapid digitalization requires that Sandvik recruits entirely new competencies in competition with companies such as Google, Apple, and Spotify. The brief was to create awareness on a global level and position Sandvik as a progressive engineering company within a broader target group described as “tech people”. The aim was to start engaging conversation around Sandvik’s technical abilities and foster peer-to-peer marketing from within selected verticals. Other objectives were to strengthen the link to the Sandviks desired brand attributes ​​“Innovative”, “Progressive” and “High-tech” and to increase interest in Sandvik as an attractive employer.

Describe the idea

Why create a smash-proof guitar? It all started when we tried to find out how to combine high-tech and music, two of the things that our audience is most interested in. So, we hijacked a rock'n'roll cultural phenomena—smashing guitars—to showcase Sandvik’s advanced material knowledge and 3D printing competence. The engineers at Sandvik had never built a guitar before but took on the challenge with enthusiasm. To make it unbreakable, they used their high tech innovations in entirely new ways. To make it sound and look great, we collaborated with renowned guitar designer Andy Holt. The whole process was thoroughly documented, the foundation for our in-depth film. Then we went into pop culture and engaged rock icon Yngwie Malmsteen, guitar virtuoso and famed guitar smasher. On stage in Miami, he gave everything he had to destroy the guitar. Nothing happened. Proof of concept.

What were the key dates in the development process?

October 2, 2018, Sandvik collected leading experts in materials, machining processes, and metal 3D printing from across the company to brainstorm ways to meet the challenge. Because they had never made a guitar before, Sandvik collaborated with renowned guitar designer Andy Holt. During this first period of development, Holt sent the engineers a new digital design file every day. Yngwie Malmsteen, named one of the world’s top ten electric guitarists, was involved in November 2018. Because of that, the guitar had to be further developed to Malmsteen’s exact specifications and extremely high standards. To understand what happens when Malmsteen destroys an instrument, Sandvik’s engineers turned to YouTube. They had to innovate a guitar that was unsmashable in all the different ways you can smash a guitar. The first prototype was tested December 12, 2018, the second January 24, 2019. The finished product was ready for the concert February 6, 2019.

Describe the innovation / technology

To create the Smash-Proof Guitar, we collaborated with guitar designer Andy Holt. Identifying weaknesses of traditional guitars together with Sandvik’s engineers, they were able to innovate new solutions. E.g. the joint between the guitars neck and body was critical. To make it unbreakable, Sandvik choose to integrate an Isotopic Lightweight Structure—the strongest structure ever invented—inside the neck. The body was 3D printed in titanium with an internal lattice construction for best weight and strength ratio. The neck was machined to perfection in a single piece of Sandvik’s stainless steel. Scalloping was made to the fretboard—creating u-shaped valleys between the frets—according to Yngwie Malmsteen’s exact specifications. Sandvik commented: “Advanced materials, precision machining, metal 3D printing, data-driven production—these are the kinds of processes it takes to create something as complicated as a guitar for a master musician like Yngwie Malmsteen. This project seemed like a perfect match for our skills and capabilities—and his.”

Describe the expectations / outcome

The Smash-Proof Guitar sparked intense conversations in the tech community online. Sandvik’s most important brand attributes increased dramatically in the target group. And the interest in working at Sandvik increased with 107%. The Smash-Proof Guitar is a collectors edition limited to one, created exclusively for this communication project. At the end of the campaign, the guitar was auctioned at the international musical instrument site Reverb in favor of Engineers Without Borders, which created additional conversations and PR. The highest bid - $ 25,000 - was made by Pär Jörgen Pärson, one of the investors behind Spotify and a well-known name in the international tech world. Some other measurable results: • 41 million views (720% above target) • 542 earned media stories in 43 countries (163% above target) • 405,010 clicks on social post links (2,952% above target) • 280,000 landing page visits (211% above target)