The Land of Free Press -posters became a global phenomenon, which reached over a billion people, and will be remembered as one of the most eye catching ad campaigns of 2018. 
 


The Circumstances Behind the Viral Campaign

Trump-Putin summit placed the worlds eyes on Finland, providing an opportunity for bold and agile advertisers to stand out in the global stage. 

While using the summit as a marketing tactic carried some risk, the gambit proved successful, as the result exceeded all expectations. Thanks to the global media coverage, the Land of Free Press -campaign placed Helsingin Sanomat and Finland on the map as stalwart defenders of press freedom.


 
The campaign displayed to the world, what press freedom truly means
 
For the campaign, Helsingin Sanomat and the advertising agency TBWA took advantage of JCDecaux’s wide outdoor ad coverage to create a message that was sure to reach the passing presidents. The campaign's 280+ posters were placed along each possible route from Helsinki-Vantaa airport all the way to The Presidential Palace.
 

 

An OOH Campaign Created in Record Time

TBWA pitched the idea for The Land of Free Press -campaign on the same day the Summit was confirmed to be held in Helsinki. This left only two weeks in the middle of the holiday season to get the campaign to the street. 

Veera Siivonen, the CMO of Helsingin Sanomat emphasized the strong commitment that the successful completion of the campaign required from all parties. The planning, pitching, production and printing, as well as identifying the routes and delivering the posters were done in record time. This was accomplished thanks to the seamless cooperation between HS, TBWA, JCDecaux & Clear Channel. 

The campaign is a great example of the potential agility of outdoor advertisement: With two weeks’ warning, Helsingin Sanomat managed to grab the attention of the world for an important cause.


 

The Aftermath of the Land of Free Press Campaign

The campaign reinforced the Helsingin Sanomat brand and its value as a defender of press freedom. 

The Land of Free Press managed to reach all the international media representatives and created a global phenomenon. The campaign was featured in over 1200 media, garnered at least 2531 media hits, and was shown in 47 countries. The estimated earned media reach of the campaign was 1,109,373,803. (27.8.2018, 9:05 am) 

The success can be attributed to the right timing and placement of the campaign, as well as the courage Helsingin Sanomat showed in tackling the sensitive subject. The choice of outdoor advertisement as the medium for the campaign was also a good one. When you need to reach large audiences all at once, outdoor ads are hard to beat.