Cannes Lions

Rent a Finn

SEK | PART OF GREY, Helsinki / VISIT FINLAND – THE FINNISH TOURIST BOARD / 2019

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Case Film
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Visit Finland is a governmental organization that works continuously to develop Finland’s travel image. Travel marketing is a highly competitive business; small country like Finland can’t afford to compete with the media budgets of big destinations to attract attention. However, the industry communication is full of clichés in both the visual style and content. Breaking these conventions offers us a huge opportunity. Finland is an unconventional travel destination – not something for everyone but something special. Accordingly, our communication has always been designed to convey these distinguishing factors true to Finland to make us stand out. In 2018, the overnight stays were on the rise, but the ongoing battle for attention in the Nordic countries was fierce. Our task was to create awareness and interest towards Finland and make it a talking point in a way that is truly meaningful to people who are seeking unique options.

Idea

According to the UN, Finland is the happiest country in the world – thanks to the special connection between people and nature. Studies have shown that nature can have a positive impact on our minds and alleviate stress.

At the same time, the world is getting busier. Many travelers search for silence and serene nature. Well, Finland has those things in abundance. But how to teach the world this happy, close-to-nature lifestyle?

The idea: Rent a Finn.

Now it’s time everyone had a chance to learn from the best. To become as happy as a Finn, you can rent one and learn how. Rent a Finn is not only unique and ownable to Finland due to its rational background from the UN Happiness Report, but also meaningful because of its higher purpose of bringing more happiness to the world. Instead of simply selling tourism, it’s branding a whole nation.

Strategy

The insight of a balanced life and the travel trend of “living like a local” is emphasized in our target group called “Modern Humanists”.

We mobilized the whole nation and built a story step by step.

1. Nationwide initiative that recruited Finns up for rent.

2. The content of Finns that were up for rent was fed to global media with PR and with the help of chosen internationally known Finnish spokespersons.

3. While focusing on creating content we monitored earned media developments and reacted along the way.

Key messages were the Finns’ unique close-to-nature way of life and the chance to enjoy what Finland has to offer by renting a Finn. We created content describing the scientifically proven facts of nature’s positive effects and the special characteristics of the Finnish lifestyle, appealing to those who are looking for a unique travelling experience.

Execution

Rent a Finn kicked off in January 2019, when the website rentafinn.com built around recruiting Finns was launched. We selected a few Finns to work with, as the faces of our communication, introducing the Finnish way of life, the connection to nature and the idea of renting a Finn.

The execution didn’t only depend on the website. The goal was to create a phenomenon where anybody could put themselves up for rent in their own channels by using a #rentafinn. – Or just offer to spend some time with a traveler when encountering one. People around the world got introduced to the idea through high PR visibility reaching 149 countries. The reach was supported with bought advertising in social media covering 10 countries. The idea of renting a Finn is now launched and continues as a new travel habit in the future between people.

Outcome

The campaign reached 149 countries with paid advertising in only 10 markets.

The campaign reach raised as high as 1,366 billion – 98,5% coming from earned media.

The PR value of the campaign reached € 34 175 321.

The number of media hits was 3184.

We managed to build our social community with 12 488 new followers in total.