As press freedom is under greater threat than it has been in decades it was critical for the success of the campaign and the cause it stood for that it gained traction globally. Through extensive PR work along with the innovative OOH we reached a critical mass of journalists the world over and reignited a global movement in defence of press freedom.
The campaign was featured in over 2600 articles in 55 countries which reached over 1,25 billion people.
"The Land of Free Press was a timely reminder of how endangered press freedom is worldwide." - The Economist
Freedom of the press is one of the corner stones of Helsingin Sanomat, the Nordic’s largest newspaper. Finland also ranks fourth in the World Press Freedom Index.
Both presidents Trump and Putin are well known for their turbulent relationship with the media, with Trump outright calling facts fake news and Putin going as far as shutting down all critical media. As the two were about to hold their first official summit in Helsinki, Finland, we had to take action.
Our mission was to start a conversation about the importance of freedom of the press in modern democracies. Our objective was to gain as much media coverage as possible. As this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a stand for a cause close to Helsingin Sanomat's heart we needed to be as brave as possible. We couldn't be quiet, we needed to challenge the world leaders.
Describe the creative idea
The creative idea was to paint a picture of how the presidents treat the media and news outlets in their respective countries and start a global movement to help preserve freedom of the press.
We took over every single outdoor ad space on the route from the airport to the summit. With 300 billboards and digital screens at our disposal we were free to tell the presidents how they have been covered in a land with one of the highest ranks in press freedom.
Our headlines were taken directly from the newspaper and translated to both Russian and English to ensure that both presidents could read them as they drove by. In addition to the headlines we decided to welcome the presidents with our campaign message "Mr President, Welcome to the land of free press."
Describe the strategy
Our strategy was to get the attention of the world leaders and international media through the OOH execution and extensive PR work.
As we believed that the topic and message of the campaign would resonate with reporters covering the summit we had to make sure that all possible information on the campaign was readily available to all who needed it.
The campaign PR strategy included multiple PR pushes to global and national key media, a location takeover at the press centre during the summit which included direct messaging to all participants, targeting domestic and international journalists on their way to the press centre, an effective PR website that worked as a hub for international media.
Describe the execution
The campaign consisted of 300 outdoor ads on three routes from the airport to the summit location at the Presidential Palace in downtown Helsinki. Each outdoor ad had a headline that was picked directly from the archives of the newspaper and then translated to Russian and English.
On July 14th OOH went live and we packaged our assets for the upcoming PR push (film, website, press release, images). On July 15th our PR goes live and the first media hits roll in.
On the morning of the summit, July 16th, we placed thousands of handouts in the press centre that ensured that every visitor would get one. In addition the presidential route went past the press centre allowing us to place OOH executions outside and around the press centre. In just hours the campaign becomes a worldwide phenomenon and ends up being bigger news than the summit itself.
List the results
News coverage: Over 2 600 articles in 55 countries, including extensive segments on CNN and Globo Media, the largest media in Latin America, and a feature piece in the Economist covering the campaign and press freedom, amounting to an earned reach of 1.25 billion. The campaign is praised for its timeliness and bravery, with 100 % delivery on the message.
""The Land of Free Press was a timely reminder of how endangered press freedom is worldwide" writes The Economist.
Target Audience Outcome:
- Campaign impact on brand image (as measured by YouGov brand index) + 33 %
- The campaign Ignites a global movement to help press freedom the world over. Has news media such as The Economist releasing studies on press freedom. Also triggers a torrent of editorials on behalf of press freedom, lead by the initiative of The Boston Globe.
- + 19% yoy-growth in new subscriptions in August
- + Fueled by positive image, B2B-sales surpass targets by 10 %