Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Magdalena Mucić
Instead of the traditional Christmas calendar, employees of the portal of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘ThisisFINLAND’, decided to celebrate the holidays in 2015 in a completely different way.
Instead of the classic photographs of the beauty of their country, under the leadership of Petra Theman, the Director of Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary General of the Finland Promotion Board, they published a set of emojis, each representing unusual customs, emotions, favourite jokes or myths about their country. The funny, and often (auto)ironic emoji, entertained the Finns, and allowed strangers to get acquainted with the less-known facts about Finland, crushing some deep rooted stereotypes.
The cheerful design and humour of the emojis resounded much further than Scandinavia. By the end of the year, the Finnish emoji were featured in 2000 of the world’s media, on the launch date on Twitter they had a reach of 3 million people. Although almost no money was invested in the promotion, the campaign yielded 3.8 million euros worth of earned media.
Head of this awesome Finnish project, Petra Theman, is coming to the Weekend Media Festival this year to share what is behind the success of one of the best country branding campaigns and how it’s possible to change the image of a country.
How did you come up with the idea to turn the unique traits of your country into emojis?
Petra Theman: A team of people is responsible for that. We wanted to freshen up the Christmas calendar which ThisisFINLAND website does every year in December. Our business largely revolves around understanding of trends and phenomena, so the idea itself was, so to say, always there.
Governments are usually very strict and serious, and your emojis are quite ironic and humorous. Still, they received the green light from the government of Finland. How did you manage to put those two together?
Petra Theman: By not asking for approval. But seriously … This is something that is part of the Finnish people and the branding of our country: everything in Finland revolves around low hierarchies and simple and direct access to everything we do. It was clear to us that the emojis would be unsuccessful if we would include a whole range of emotions, both positive and negative, as well as all our advantages and disadvantages.
What was the basic message you wanted to communicate?
Petra Theman: That Finland is not only digitally literate, but also fun, and that we know how to joke on our own account.
How did the emoji promote your country in the world, and how many people have downloaded them so far? How were the reactions in Finland, but also in the rest of the world?
Petra Theman: I will tell you more about this in the lecture. In short, we achieved success. The message reached more than 250 million people, and the emoji were downloaded several hundred thousand times.
What was the most important thing for the success of the campaign?
Petra Theman: Honesty. Good design/selection of themes. Using the entire network, including the Ministry. Approval from the Finnish people.
Results of the campaign were excellent. Did you have to invest a lot to promote it?
Petra Theman: I believe we invested about €30. It was all organic.
Did you cover all the trademarks of Finland with this, or should we expect a new set of emojis in the near future?
Petra Theman: The last time we updated the emojis was on 9 June. I believe we are done with that now.
What else will we hear from you at the Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj?
Petra Theman: A relaxed overview of everything that’s happening behind the stage when it comes to branding of a country. In addition, you will also hear something about how prejudices about different countries are born in our minds, and whether it is possible to influence them.