Finland is known for great coffee, beautiful vistas and quality healthcare. It is not, however, known for being a particularly friendly place for newcomers.
Much of this is due to traditional Finnish standoffishness. It’s cold, people keep to themselves and are not fans of small talk. Meanwhile, there is rising anti-immigrant sentiment, as in much of Europe and the United States. A new campaign from Prisma, Finland’s largest supermarket chain, extends a welcoming message to immigrants, minorities and locals who speak languages other than Finnish or Swedish, the most predominant languages used in media and ads in the country.
In 331 out-of-home placements in Helsinki, the message “Prisma Tripla, a store meant for everyone, is now open. Welcome!” is displayed in eight languages: Finnish, Swedish, Somali, Chinese, English, Estonian, Russian and Spanish. The ad points viewers to the new store in Pasila, an increasingly diverse neighborhood in the center of the city.
The campaign from TBWA\Helsinki is aimed not just at Finns who speak other languages (one in six residents of Helsinki was born outside the country) but also at city-dwellers who welcome Helsinki’s growing reputation as a modern, multicultural hub.