2020 Glass: The Award For Change


Product/ServiceIT SERVICES
Category A01. Glass
Production 2 GREAT APES Helsinki, FINLAND
Name Company Position
Jyrki Poutanen TBWA\Helsinki Chief Creative Officer
Mikko Pietilä TBWA\Helsinki Executive Creative Director
Virpi Grönlund TBWA\Helsinki Client Service Director
Markus Nieminen TBWA\Helsinki Creative Director
Juhana Hokkanen TBWA\Helsinki Innovation Director
Joona Stedt TBWA\Helsinki Account Manager
Simone Bocedi TBWA\Helsinki Senior Content Strategist
Fredrik Stürmer TBWA\Helsinki Art Director
Maria Kuorikoski TBWA\Helsinki Senior Creative
Antti Halme TBWA\Helsinki Senior Creative
Iida Sarpaniemi TBWA\Helsinki Graphic Designer
Atso Wilén TBWA\Helsinki Graphic Designer
Henrik Storsjö TBWA\Helsinki Video Editor
Paula Sonne TBWA\Helsinki Communications Strategist
Saana Simander TBWA\Helsinki Junior Communications Specialist
Sara Pitzén TBWA\Helsinki Junior Communications Specialist
Katariina Ollari TBWA\Helsinki Content Producer
Eemeli Tani TBWA\Helsinki Performance & Analytics Manager
Juho Ojala TBWA\Helsinki Planner
Lisa Myllymäki TBWA\Helsinki Director
Tuukka Tikkanen TBWA\Helsinki Producer
Anton Tevajärvi TBWA\Helsinki Director Of Photography
Aki Karppinen TBWA\Helsinki Gaffer
Mikko Kuoppasalmi TBWA\Helsinki Editor
Anssi Mahlamäki TBWA\Helsinki Motion Designer
Ville-Matti Koskiniemi TBWA\Helsinki Sound Design
Petri Falkenberg Grade One Post Production
Aino Heiniö TBWA\Helsinki Costume Design
Donna Maimon TBWA\Helsinki Casting
Fanny Haga TBWA\Helsinki Photographer
Jonna Yletyinen TBWA\Helsinki Still Producer
Mika Melvas TMI Melvas Type Design Typeface Designer
Jonna Louvrier External Consultant Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
Michaela Moua External Consultant Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
Sara Salmani External Consultant, Inklusiiv Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
Anaka Kobzev TBWA Worldwide Global Head of Corporate Communications
Melissa Gotleib TBWA Worldwide Global Communications Associate
Doug Melville TBWA Worldwide Chief Diversity Officer, North America
Kia Haring TietoEVRY Head of Communications and Sustainablity
Hanne Haapoja TietoEVRY Head of Group Customer Insight
Mari Tuokko TietoEVRY Communications Lead, Finland
Reija Sihlman TietoEVRY Head of PR and Issues Management
Nelli Melin TietoEVRY Digital Content Manager
Annika Uusikari TietoEVRY Content Creator


A third of all bullying now takes place online. As an IT company driven by Nordic values, TietoEVRY wanted to enter the public discussion on the downsides and possibilities of technology by proposing a solution for addressing cyberbullying. Drawing from the company’s purpose of enabling a brighter future and an existing partnership with The Children and Youth Foundation, we created The Polite Type: an open-source font that promotes better online language use and empathy. The project aimed to create a platform for public dialogue on digital responsibility with key decision-makers and public sector customers, while bringing in young people as active participants in tackling discriminatory language before it happens, through a positive change in attitudes. Gaining traction with tech and news media was also important, to increase brand awareness, enforce public image and strengthen TietoEVRY’s thought-leadership by shaping the digital landscape.

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

Statistically, cyberbullying affects women and minorities more. Teenage girls are especially vulnerable. According to Pew Research, girls are three times more likely than boys to have experienced several different forms of online bullying. In our data-gathering for the word library, an overwhelming majority of words relating to cyberbullying had to do with women, minority genders and sexual identity. Online anonymity contributes to a lack of empathy in user’s behaviour, enabling rude behaviour and cyberbullying. Children and teenagers often have to navigate the online world by themselves and are expected to have mature coping skills to deal with bullying. We wanted to create a prototype for an in-built safety measure for online spaces (contained in the tech itself) that could help vulnerable groups such as these.

Describe the creative idea

The Polite Type is a font that recognises and rewrites hate speech. By launching a self-moderating font, TietoEVRY wanted to create discussion about toxic online culture and cyberbullying, the social responsibility of tech companies in solving these issues and innovative ways companies could use tech to foster empathy online. Together with The Children and Youth Foundation, linguists and diversity and inclusion experts, we identified offensive language related to online bullying and created a word library where each word was given a more inclusive alternative or blocked altogether. This word library was then coded into an Open Type font file, creating a custom font that gives its users direct feedback on their language use. The Polite Type is a font that can be used on any platform. All the functionalities are incorporated inside the font itself, so no applications, keyboards or such have to be installed.

Describe the strategy

With researchers from The University of Helsinki, we ran a corpus linguistic analysis of online content to identify vocabulary central to themes related to cyberbullying, such as body image, gender identity, sexuality and race. This was used as a basis for the word library incorporated within the font. In our workshops, we found that 65% of teenagers had experienced cyberbullying. The key target audience for TietoEVRY are key decision-makers and public sector customers. Engaging the wider public on a social issue, would help us to position TietoEVRY through its values and contribute to addressing a pressing societal problem. By creating a technological solution to an issue amplified by technology, TietoEVRY wanted to position itself through its Nordic values of openness, trust and diversity. Through this project, TietoEVRY wanted to position itself through its values, gain visibility in its target markets and engage potential partners and clients through an open-source initiative.

Describe the execution

The font and its source code were made freely downloadable on the campaign website. The download kit contained easy-to-use instructions for installing the font. All material was produced in a way that would encourage participation and invite anyone interested in the project to join in developing the Polite Type further. Apart from a small social media and influencer campaign in Finland, The Polite Type was launched as a PR initiative in August 2020. A week of PR pushes kickstarted the campaign that has since spread through earned and social media. The media kit contained a press release and a short, explanatory film on the project. In addition to larger PR pushes, 270 journalists were contacted personally with a tailored pitch. By getting people interested in the project, we would get them to test and download the font and join the discussion around it.

Describe the results / impact

The campaign’s launch generated 637 earned media impressions, 221 of which were news articles. The campaign’s overall reach was 900,598,598, corresponding to an EAV of 8,497,769.31 €, indicative of high quality media hits. Since August 2020, the font has been tested on the website 27,404 times and installed by 3,353 users in over a 100 countries. 90.5% of all website traffic and 94.2 % font downloads resulted from earned media content. 51% of site visitors tested the font. 6% of all site visitors and 12% of those who tested the font installed it on their own devices. Developers interested in developing the font further and global vendor partners have expressed interest towards The Polite Type. There has been interest from new governmental and NGO partners in creating three new language versions of the font, with an upcoming German language version confirmed.