With our target group (travellers) in mind, we decided to present one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions, the great outdoors, in a way that makes Sweden different from other nature destinations. We used the Freedom to Roam, an 80-year- old Swedish right protected by the constitution that allows anyone to roam freely in Sweden’s nature. Every lake and mountaintop can be enjoyed as if they are yours – our country is one big home. Since we knew our target group, we knew where they hang out online. So we listed the entire country on Airbnb.
Together with Airbnb we created and built a special campaign site for Sweden on Airbnb where people could browse through different listings. All destinations had their own specific descriptions and amenities; a lake became an infinity pool and moss on the ground became carpeting – like a regular Airbnb listing.
We also produced a film where a Swedish man, Åke, invited the world to explore his 100 million acres accommodation.
To pave the way for the campaign we worked with different influencers who in one way or the other had a natural connection to freedom to roam: explorer Renata Chlumska, photographer Wisslaren; raincoat designer Alexander Stutterheim and tech profile Natalia Brzezinski, an American who used to live in Sweden.
We also produced content about freedom to roam, including an interview with an expert, which we published on Visit Sweden’s website.
Earned media: $9,7 million
Engagements: 1,7 million
Spread: 138 countries
Media impressions: 8,4 billion
Organic reach: 700% increase
Online conversation: 2346% increase
The campaign was launched on May 22nd 2017 and in July 2017 the number of booked hotel nights from the US increased by 45 % compared to the year before. A booking cycle in the US is 45 days.
By combining the power of the Airbnb platform with something which in its essence is a defintion of Swedish society as a whole, the freedom to roam, we managed to get the US and the world to talk about Swedish as a destintion and Swedish nature in a new and inspiring way. And by using the Airbnb platform as a starting point we succeeded in starting a dialogoue with those we wanted to reach – journalists and travellers in the US market.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea
Even if visitors are few, people are still coming to Sweden from all demographic segments (DINKs, WHOPs etc.) A heterogeneous group, but we found something they all had in common that let us tailor a message to them. The development of digital technologies and fundamental shifts in how people perceive value has disrupted every field of consumption, and transformed the way we plan and experience travel. We called this insight “the evolution from tourist to traveller”, and we wanted to repackage Sweden in to something travellers would love. And love to show off. Sweden needed to be something completely different. We needed to communicate Sweden in a way that resonates with the travellers values. This meant that something like the great outdoors couldn’t be communicated simply on it’s own. Everything needed to be combined with something more, for example Swedish culture or politics.