Catchy cod! Norway's central bank cashing in on comedy rap video

OSLO, May 25 (Reuters) - Norway’s central bank has landed a viral hit after dropping a comedy-style rap music video about turning cod into money to launch its new series of maritime-themed bank notes.

With bizarre lines such as “see the cod, a fat, fine and Norwegian one,” the video features central bank governor Oeystein Olsen as “DJ Codfather”, peering out the window of his central Oslo office through a pair of binoculars.

“The cod comes now,” Olsen says as he turns to the camera.

The first two notes, of 100 and 200 Norwegian crowns ($12 and $24), will be launched on May 30, the smaller bill featuring a Viking ship and the larger one a cod.

The unlikely promotion, a remake of a 1980s comedy skit, is also a light-hearted attempt at educating Norwegians about safety features in their new bills, including holograms and near-invisible sections of microscopic text.

After two days the video exceeded 16,000 views on YouTube, far more than more serious postings such as the central bank governor’s annual policy speech, which has been seen just 85 times since February.

With its long, rugged coastline and rich fisheries, Norway has for centuries been a large seafood exporter, while in recent decades offshore oil and gas exploration has become its single biggest source of revenue.

While the new bills cost 20 percent more to make than the old, they are expected to last up to 50 percent longer, the central bank said. ($1 = 8.3202 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Patrick Johnston and Pritha Sarkar)