Short List
Category D02. Use of Branded Content created for Digital or Social
Media Placement DAGMAR Helsinki, FINLAND
Production KLOK HELSINKI Helsinki, FINLAND
Additional Company FINAVIA Vantaa, FINLAND
Name Company Position
Katja Siberg Finavia VP Marketing, Corporate Communications and Customer Experience, CMO
Anna Tuomi Finavia Head of Marketing
Olli Lehtonen Finavia Digital Marketing Manager
Rosa Kojonkoski Finavia Project Manager
Mikko Pietilä TBWA\Helsinki Executive Creative Director
Simone Bocedi TBWA\Helsinki Senior Content Strategist
Virpi Grönlund TBWA\Helsinki Client Partner
Antti Halme TBWA\Helsinki Senior Copywriter
Matti Virtanen TBWA\Helsinki Art Director
Annika Wikstén TBWA\Helsinki Account Manager
Henrietta Tastula TBWA\Helsinki Content Producer
Eemeli Tani TBWA\Helsinki Campaign Analyst
Iiro Hokkanen TBWA\Helsinki Director
Jyrki Poutanen TBWA\Helsinki Chief Creative Officer
Mikko Kylämä TBWA\Helsinki Senior Developer
Maria Dunaeva TBWA\Helsinki Graphic Designer
Juhana Hokkanen TBWA\Helsinki Head of Innovation technology
Nana Paja TBWA\Helsinki Account Director
Heikki Laine KLOK Helsinki Senior Producer
Pekka Ala-Seppälä KLOK Helsinki Production Manager
Juha Lahti KLOK Helsinki Director
Jukka Rouhuvirta KLOK Helsinki DOP
Eero Lehtinen KLOK Helsinki Editor
Katarzyna Kosieradrazka KLOK Helsinki Sound operator
Gary Carter KLOK Helsinki Creative Consultant
Riikka Hallenberg Dagmar Account Director
Joe Woods Dagmar Digital Manager
Roosa Räsänen Dagmar Digital Planner
Lauri Permanto Dagmar Digital Planner
Miia Elonen Dagmar Social Media Planner

Why is this work relevant for Media?

#LIFEINHEL was a unique airport reality show, where a Chinese actor and TV personality lived inside Helsinki Airport for 30 days, streaming his experience live to social media. Entertainment played a central role, as Ryan Zhu, the star of the show, tested and evaluated the airport services in unscripted daily episodes, live streams, and social media posts. He turned the whole airport into media space. Fans followed his adventures inside the airport every day, engaging with the hero and the campaign for an entire month and well beyond that.


Finnish airport operator Finavia has put much effort on customer experience in recent years, resulting in Helsinki Airport being awarded as the best airport in the world (Travellink 2017). However, Helsinki Airport is still widely unknown globally and especially in China, Finavia's fastest growing market. The number of Chinese passengers has increased steadily in the past years, and they are now the primary target group for the airport’s services. How do we communicate with Chinese travelers that Helsinki Airport is the best choice for a stopover airport on their way to Europe? How do we increase Finavia's brand awareness in China and globally? Among other KPIs, the aim was to reach at least 5 million people and accumulate 1,5 million views on the daily episodes. The more people hear and write about Helsinki Airport’s excellence, the better it is for business, meaning an increased number of passengers and airlines.

Describe the creative idea/insights

People hate being stuck at airports: the longer the stay, the worse it gets. But what if the airport was so good, you never wanted to leave? #LIFEINHEL was a disruptive online airport reality show, where “The Terminal” and “The Truman Show” met “Survivor”. Chinese movie actor Ryan Zhu lived inside Helsinki Airport for 30 days to test and review its services. His adventures were published as daily reality episodes to social media.

Describe the strategy

Ryan Zhu was invited to live inside Helsinki Airport for 30 days and to evaluate all airport's facilities and services. Ryan is former Mr. Asia, fitness enthusiast, “Dancing with the Stars” dancer and movie actor, who has many followers on social media and was excited and enthusiastic about the idea from day one. One crucial reason for Ryan's selection was the fact that a fellow countryman will recognize the topics Chinese travelers will be interested in the airport. Another essential advantage was his extensive and active social media contacts as they serve as a potential traveler segment from China to Europe and Finland. By creating an evolving content campaign in a reality TV format starring a Chinese influencer was very likely to stand out positively in both Chinese and global media and attract the attention of both the passengers and aviation professionals.

Describe the execution

The #LIFEINHEL disruptive content marketing campaign mixed reality TV, game shows and social media resulting in hundreds of hours of filmed material. The core of the execution was to share Ryan's experiences in short daily videos to various audiences globally. Every day Ryan updated his own social media channels Weibo, WeChat, and Yizhibo. Livestream videos were shared on Miaopai. At the same time, Helsinki Airport also updated all its social media channels: Weibo, WeChat, and Youku in China and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the Western markets. All materials appeared on a campaign site. Finavia pursued full transparency in Ryan's communication, so no control or censorship was applied in the posts he or crucial other opinion leaders made on social media. If Ryan had not liked his 30 days experiment in Helsinki Airport, he would have had free liberty to leave on the next flight back to China.

List the results

Without a significant media budget, we relied on active PR seeding and efficient influencer mechanics to reach a staggering 2.4 billion people worldwide, 81,7% of which in China. The videos were watched over 13.8 million times altogether but what was remarkable was the number of engagements: 135 000 across all channels, with more than 11 500 comments, 98% of which had positive sentiment. #LIFEINHEL has also impacted the lives of everyday passengers at Helsinki Airport. Ryan's feedback is set to bring permanent changes to the airport infrastructure, enhancing especially the services available to Chinese travelers. With over 500 editorials written around the world worth €17 million in earned media value, Helsinki Airport attracted positive buzz and succeeded in standing out from its competitors in a unique way. Businesswise a great win was that during the campaign, Finavia signed a contract with a new Chinese airline partner Lucky Air.