BOB THE ROBOT, Helsinki / FINNKINO / 2017
‘Tom of Finland’ – by the acclaimed director Dome Karukoski – is a movie about the late Finnish gay artist Touko Laaksonen, the most internationally successful Finnish artist of all times. While the movie is an epic story about love, courage and freedom that everybody should see, Touko Laaksonen is still in infamy in his native Finland for his pornographic work.
The brief was to create a phenomenon around the upcoming film and the values it represented: courage, love and freedom. Given the meagre media budget, the solution needed to have significant traction in earned media to generate as much attention to the movie as possible. And to also fill up the cinemas, the film had to become the pride of the whole country, so that everyone, no matter from which demographic, would like to see the movie.
20 Finnish A-list celebrities volunteered to be the brave faces of the campaign. They were photographed in the erotic style of Tom of Finland’s art in leather and caps. The celebrity images were accompanied by a bold #IAMTOMOFFINLAND text, inviting everybody to “stand up for courage, love and freedom”.
The audience was given a chance to take part with an easy-to-use image generator: one could take a selfie and turn it into a piece of Tom of Finland art.
Since a major part of communication and self-expression happens via virtual channels, Tom of Finland movie needed its own emojis. The emojis mostly used for flirtation and sexual innuendo were given a Tom of Finland treatment. The black leather egg plants, peaches and leather gloved thumbs-up-hands were given for people to play around with. After all, Tom of Finland imagery is vividly sexual, but there is also a lot of humor.