2018 Glass: The Award for Change


Short List
Category A01. Glass
Additional Company STOCKMANN Helsinki, FINLAND
Name Company Position
Laura Paikkari TBWA\Helsinki Creative Director
Janni Widerholm TBWA\Helsinki Creative Content Strategist
Anni Lindgren TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Emma Kanninen TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Anu Lehto TBWA\Helsinki Art Director
Atso Wilen TBWA\Helsinki Designer
Juulia Meuronen TBWA\Helsinki Social Media Manager
Iman Chellaf TBWA\Helsinki Social Media Manager
Nana Paija TBWA\Helsinki Account Manager
Emilia Repo TBWA\Helsinki Project Manager
Harry Huttunen TBWA\Helsinki Production Art Director
Natalie Gustafsson TBWA\Helsinki Production Art Director
Mikko Halonen TBWA\Helsinki Creative Director
Anna Salmi Stockmann CCO Marketing & Digitalisation
Satu Tuikkanen Stockmann Marketing Director
Carita Segersven Stockmann Marketing manager, fashion
Minttu Vesala Minttu Vesala Stylist
Anna Airisto Stockmann Marketing Manager, Content & PR
Mikko Pietilä TBWA\Helsinki Executive Creative Director
Tuukka Laitinen Skål Helsinki Editor
Melissa Kuitunen TBWA\Helsinki Data & Insight Trainee
Jesse Korhonen TBWA\Helsinki Insights Analyst


Gender limitations have been a topic of frequent discussion. Whilst the fashion industry is moving on, department stores – often the key channels between a brand and the consumer – are yet to redefine their conceptions of gender. Finnish department store Stockmann is perceived as one of the most traditional brands in Finland. To promote their key brand value equality, Stockmann wanted to create a brand action that would speak to the modern consumer. The aim of the campaign was to challenge the norms that influence people’s appearances and liberty of self-expression. Stockmann wanted to inspire customers to explore different departments independent of their gender, and spark conversation around the important issue of pressing gender norms. Naturally, Stockmann was also interested in offering a product selection that would cater to their customers’ needs more efficiently and allow customers to find the key elements for executing their personal style. It was strongly felt, that the modern consumer is not into gender-specific fashion, but sets personal style above outdated conceptions of gender, age and size.

Describe the cultural/social/political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context

Finland is one of the world’s leading countries in fostering gender equality, being the first to grant women full political rights and committing to gender equality in global arenas. However, Finland is by no means perfect when it comes to gender preconceptions and the need to categorize people into one of the two most widely recognized sexes. Department stores have been one of the first urban environments in Europe, where women could spend their time unsupervised – thus they have a strong role in the history of equality. Stockmann is no exception, being the first department store in Finland to offer women a place to feel more liberated to express themselves as early as the 1800s. Today, as fashion has begun to shift away from dualistic gender conceptions, department stores still stick to dividing their selection into separate men’s and women’s departments. As in department stores elsewhere, the Stockmann clientele were still catered to as they were since the beginning of department stores, by gender – not as individuals with unique preferences.

Describe the creative idea

The first gender-neutral shopping floor in the world was set up on the 1.5th floor, between Men and Women to offer a platform where new brands and products could be showcased without gender limitations. We wanted to create a place where customers could free themselves from the gender norms that limit the way they dress. The One Way concept combined Stockmann’s best-selling brands with the introduction of newcomers. From the carefully chosen brand selection, prestigious Finnish stylist Minttu Vesala put together the final One Way collection. The gender-neutral collection showcased the best pieces from both Men’s and Women’s departments and was also made available online. The gender-neutral department was named One Way to highlight the message that there is only one way to dress right – and that’s everyone’s own.

Describe the strategy

To better understand the role of dress in self-expression among their clientele, Stockmann conducted a research on the role style has in the lives of their customers. Nearly all, 94%, of the respondents reported that they use style as a tool for personal expression. However, over half felt that external pressure limits the way they dress, and over 65% agreed that predefined conceptions influence their decisions. With One Way Stockmann curated a collection that would meet the preferences of its target group. The final One Way collection was curated by analyzing the best-selling brands using 1st party data, and combining them with new brands that Stockmann wanted to showcase to its target group. The strategy of gender-neutral targeting was applied throughout. Target groups in advertising were not, for the first time, divided into men and women, but showcased products based on preference, not gender.

Describe the execution

The first gender-neutral shopping floor in the world was set up by Finnish department store Stockmann on the 1.5th floor, between Men’s and Women’s. The concept challenges traditional gender norms and offers a platform to introduce brands and products without gender limitations. Situating One Way between Men’s and Women’s strengthened the message and conceptual value of making a statement for gender-neutral shopping. The message was brought further by using gender-neutral mannequins and styling the campaign models in items from both departments, independent of their gender. In addition, a webstore that featured the One Way gender-neutral line was published on Stockmann’s webstore. Target groups in advertising were not, for the first time, divided into men and women, but showcased products based on preference, not gender.

Describe the results/impact

The concept was recognized globally, generating over 106 million impressions. News of One Way reached over 85 million people through earned media and social comments praised Stockmann for creating neutral ground. Stockmann’s effort to challenge the biggest convention in the industry was praised by global press, but some of the headlines stated that other regions are at present unable to do the same. More than headlines, the readiness of consumers to embrace the One Way concept went to prove that people are more than ready to abandon gender-specific conventions and do not expect retail to predefine their interests according to gender. The floor was visited by customers of all ages, but especially the younger audience made One Way it’s own. One Way’s greatest success was breaking a convention that only existed due to convenience and history. One Way will next be launched in Stockmann’s Baltic branches, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.