2018 Brand Experience & Activation

The Friendliness Project

TitleThe Friendliness Project
Category A12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image
Entrant LERNIA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Media Placement LERNIA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production 2 LITKA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Elias Wästberg Lernia Communications Manager
Katarina Devell Lernia Brand Manager
Per Frykebrant Juno Public Relations PR Consultant
Caroline Jungsand Juno Public Relations Founder
Ellinor Irving Juno Public Relations PR Consultant
Camilla Söderlund Juno Public Relations PR Consultant

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?

Education and staffing company Lernia didn’t stand out amongst its competitors, neither to consumers or business leads. We found a way to cater to both target groups, creating an experience that could live on and be used again and again. We came up with an idea that brought the brand to life and generated interaction. Using a simple deck of cards Lernia gave its customers and potential business leads a way to get to know the company while highlighting its values and standpoint. All the while addressing one of the most important societal issues in Sweden – integration.


Lernia is one of Sweden’s biggest education and staffing companies. They educate 35.000 people each year, many of which are immigrants who take part in the Swedish for Immigrants course (SFI). Lernia also hires almost 4.500 people every year, many of which have a foreign background. It gives them a unique position on the Swedish labour market in terms of recruitment, education and staffing that lead to integration and diversity. However, few people know what separates Lernia from their competitors. We needed to increase brand awareness and strengthen Lernias position as a force of integration on the labour market in Sweden. We also needed to create an emotional connection to the brand that could help them stand out when compared to its competitors.

Describe the creative idea

Sweden has welcomed the most immigrants in Europe relative to its population making integration an important social issue. Research shows that friendship at the workplace is key for successful integration. Unfortunately, Swedes are the worst in the world at making new friends according to a global survey. Newly arrived immigrants attend Swedish For Immigrants (SFI) to learn the language and get tools to integrate. But as the latter is hard due to the Swedes lack of social skills, we needed to find a way to create more friendships at workplaces. The solution: Interaction For Swedes (IFS), a take on the SFI course but aimed at Swedes instead. It’s a deck of cards with 36 research-based questions designed to lead to interaction and friendships. The questions gradually become more personal thus making you feel closer to the person you are talking to, a method established and developed in psychological research.

Describe the strategy

To better understand the target group we conducted a survey which showed that friendship is one of the most important elements for wellbeing among Swedes. But at the same time, many think they are bad at making new friends. By creating an easy tool that would help people with their social life, we built engagement while addressing the burning social issue of integration. Lernia’s target audience is both businesses purchasing their educations and staffing services, as well as consumers looking for a new job or participating in their educations. Our strategy was to create a tool relevant for both target groups. In order to do so it had to be easy to use so the questions were divided into three parts, perfect for a coffee break. In order to increase credibility we based the project on established psychological research and collaborated with one of Sweden’s most well-known psychologists.

Describe the execution

To get the discussion started the deck of cards was distributed to Lernias own offices all over Sweden and hundreds more of their client’s workplaces. At the same time we made it available on Lernia’s home page where anyone who was interested could order the deck of cards to their own workplace. Our media target was both national and local media, as well as media in other segments.Two weeks prior to the launch we contacted key media in relevant segments to give them background material and a heads up. This was important as we wanted the discussions about this important subject to filter down. On launch day we did a broad media outreach. We launched the initiative with an experiment, where we filmed the first eight that conducted the course. The film was distributed in social and digital channels to further explain the issue and get the discussion going.

List the results

Brand awareness increased from 12-18 percent and brand knowledge went up from 26-34 percent. There was an increase in people saying they would prefer Lernia over other comparable options, from 5-9 percent. Lernia also recognized a substantial increase in business leads during and after the campaign period. The campaign was featured in all targeted media segments, overall reach 7 300 000. Lernia had three times more press clippings during the campaign month than the same month the previous year. The project sparked a societal discussion about integration as right wing media opposed the initiative. The film got 4 625 500 views and we reached over one million people in social media. The demand for the deck of cards from workspaces and the public exceeded expectations and was reprinted repeatedly. Sweden climbed one spot on the list in the yearly global survey and is no longer the world’s most unfriendly country.