Category A11. Consumer Services
Entrant SWEDBANK Stockholm, SWEDEN
Media Placement 2 SCREAM MEDIABYRA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production SOCIAL CLUB Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production 2 THE LINE Stockholm, SWEDEN
Additional Company FRIENDS Stockholm, SWEDEN
Additional Company 2 BRAND UNION Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Louise Moberg Prime Weber Shandwick Creative Director
Nadine Le Gros Prime Weber Shandwick Copywriter
Robert Aras Prime Weber Shandwick Key Account Manager
Per Hansen Prime Weber Shandwick Key Account Manager
Sara Tidholm Prime Weber Shandwick Project Manager
Viktor Bodelius Prime Weber Shandwick Media Specialist
Ylva Lindberg Prime Weber Shandwick Activation Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Bullying will cost the Swedish society 1,6 billion Euros over the next 30 years. A new survey revealed that 65% of Swedish adults have experienced bullying in their childhood but are still passive spectators as almost every other Swede regrets that they didn’t do more to prevent bullying. The challenge that we were facing was therefore obvious - how can we get more adults to not only observe the children that are bullied every day (bullying that will affect them for their entire lives), but also encourage them to stop being a spectator and start taking action.


In Sweden, 60,000 children are bullied every year - which is equal to more than one child in every school class. Friends is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the prevention of bullying. They educate and support schools, pre-schools and sports clubs throughout Sweden. Swedbank, one of Sweden’s largest banks, have been the main sponsor of Friends for more than 15 years and they also renamed Sweden’s national arena to Friends arena. The intention was to make this a permanent, physical place, where all spectators are reminded to stand up against bullying. Our brief was to strengthen the connection between the national arena and the work being done to prevent bullying. We also needed to use the arena as a platform to rally the nation around the issue. The overall goal was to increase awareness around all children exposed to bullying and get more people to take action against it.

Describe the creative idea

What role could a national arena play in the fight against child and adolescent bullying? What if we could make it impossible for the 1 million annual arena visitors to both see these vulnerable children, understand how bullying affect their lives and engage them to take action? The idea: The match against bullying - Stop spectating Friends Arena is home to some of the biggest sporting events and concerts in the country. The idea was to use the arena to encourage those who entered it to do exactly the opposite of what they paid and planned to do there: watch an event take place. Regardless of where you would be in the arena you would be reminded that the next time you are a spectator in daily life, children will be affected and the whole society will continue to pay the cost of bullying.

Describe the strategy

The target audience was the general public – all of those who wished they had done more to prevent bullying. The strategy focused on using a moment where all eyes already were on the arena - a FIFA World Cup warm up between Sweden and Chile. Instead of talking about the super stars on the field we wanted to direct the spotlight on those children that truly deserve the attention. The football game was broadcasted live on national TV, reaching nearly 1/10 of all Swedes. Through targeted paid ads on social media we got the message across to the broad audience. By inviting influencers within the sports segment (e.g. Pia Sundhage, football coach, Jonas Eriksson, FIFA referee, Linnea Claesson, sports star, activist) and not the least - Sweden’s national football team, we engaged the public. Through news media and visits by Friends’ educators, we got the message out to schools.

Describe the execution

25 life-size sculptures of children were created, representing all vulnerable Swedish children, placed on permanent display throughout the arena, located where bullying most often occurs such as locker rooms and washrooms. When revealing the sculptures we changed the name of the arena to “No Friends Arena” to create buzz around the new inhabitants. School kids, influencers and media were invited to understand how to tackle bullying. Miniature versions of the sculptures were then sent out on a national school tour where we collected powerful and horrible testimonials. These stories gave the children and sculptures a voice and to make sure they were heard by the adult world - we took over an international football match. Instead of being escorted to the pitch by juniors, each Swedish player escorted miniature sculptures, who represented the 60,000 Swedish children exposed to bullying every year – more than the seated capacity at Friends Arena.

List the results

Media Outputs The match broadcast live reached 1/10 in Sweden (800k viewers), commentated as: “Bronze sculptures symbolizing bullied children have been placed around the entire arena and are held by every Swedish player.” International media soon picked up the news: CNN sport, the largest football magazine; FourFourTwo, Football Stories (Konbini), Kronen Zeitung and Manchester Evening News. The most influential Swedish media covered the story: TT, Tv4, DN, Aftonbladet, Expressen, Public service television and radio: SVT, SR , Lilla Aktuellt, and local newspapers. Our emotional film with Swedish captain Andreas Granqvist as spokesperson received over 10 million views through social media and created a lot of engagement, such as likes, comments and shares: 391 000. Overall we reached: + 12 million. Influential people took action. The Swedish football team received a lot of praise from fans for taking a stand, also picked-up by media generating positive reader feedback. Target Audience Outcomes According to Yougov Swedbank has grown most in brand strength since last year (1 July 2017 - 13 June 2018), of all brands in Sweden. National awareness of Swedbank’s social engagements: +25% +400K engagement. Friends’ Secretary General: “Thanks to this fantastic initiative we’ve raised the question of bullying to a broader audience. We’ve seen a clear increase in traffic and an interest to read more about bullying.” + 300% more stories from children received vs. expectation. The public commented: “An initiative worth so much more than the results in today’s match" Business Outcomes +124% increased traffic (Friends Facebook) +30% (