Cannes Lions

Giving back to small businesses

TELIA, Helsinki / TELIA FINLAND / 2020

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Telia had successfully kicked off the transformation from a telecommunications company to a full ICT partner, but among small businesses it was still perceived as a big and distant corporation with little to offer. The corona crisis threw a new challenge, with small businesses struggling to make ends meet, let alone invest in Telia’s services.

Telia had planned a campaign for small businesses, but immediately canceled it and created a new idea a day after the lockdown was issued. It was implemented to help small businesses the best way possible after realizing they would be the first ones under pressure. The objective was to act in solidarity and help save small businesses. Furthermore, the campaign was planned to positively affect Telia's brand image.


Micro-enterprises (0-9 persons, excluding agricultural enterprises) account for 93% of all enterprises in Finland, totaling more than 260,000. About 180,000 of these are sole proprietors. Telia had never managed to woo this segment, but its sheer volume presented an unmissable growth opportunity, even if the micro-enterprises bought a handful of devices or services at the time.

The target audience consisted of small business owners and entrepreneurs, secondarily all other B2B and B2C target groups through a positive act affecting the economy.

The domestic integrated campaign was divided so that small businesses were presented locally. All in all, over 1253 custom-made ads were pushed through different channels.

The integrated campaign where Telia donated its media buys visibility to small businesses included TVC, print, outdoor, social media and influencers, digital outdoor, radio and own channels. The ads were targeted in different media platforms based on small businesses' locations.


The remotely organized film shoots and production began two days after the lockdown. The first materials shot by small businesses themselves were immediately edited and prepared for different media channels.

The national integrated campaign was divided to present local small businesses. Over 1253 custom-made ads were pushed to social media (FB, LI, TW, IG), newspaper print ads, TVC’s, which were updated weekly, radio and own channels. DOOH advertising was executed in the seven biggest cities. The campaign gained a lot of earned media and many influencers joined in.

The campaign was launched only six days after Finland’s lockdown. Ten weeks later, over 750 small businesses had already been presented.

The campaign soon scaled up to a movement. In the summer of 2020, a follow-up campaign was launched and in the fall, more entrepreneurs found their place on Telia’s website, making Telia “Finland’s largest service provider”.


The campaign helped thousands of small businesses to stay alive. And for Telia, canceling its own campaign became their most successful campaign of all time.

The positive impact on sales and lead generation was significant (see confidential info). Overall sales increased by 32% and the ROI of the campaign reached 661%.

Telia rose to a leading position in brand responsibility image, Best ICT partner index and in NPS indicators (see confidential info). And their brand likeability score increased by 40% overall.

When asked about brands that advertised during the coronavirus pandemic, Finnish consumers remembered Telia the most (Sanoma research). Also, the campaign tvc was Telia’s most liked advert ever.

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