Best of 2017: Interactive/Integrated #10: The Entire Country of Sweden Just Put Itself on Airbnb

Another Utterly Selfless Attempt at Self-Promotion

Published On
May 22, 2017

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated as our picks of the day.

At #10 in Interactive/Integrated is Visit Sweden's listing of the entire country on Airbnb, in a campaign from Forsman & Bodenfors aimed at the U.S. market. The idea hinges on the country's "Allemansratt," the right of public access that it allows any person to roam Sweden -- but even without that, it's a great brand fit and an eye-catching promotional stunt.

Original story:

The Swedish tourism board, Visit Sweden, has earned fame for its utterly "selfless" ideas to promote the country. Back in 2012, it earned a Cyber Grand Prix for a campaign from Volontaire that turned over its @Sweden Twitter account to a different Swede for a week at a time, the idea being that not one single voice could represent the country. It then went on to win a Grand Prix in Direct for setting up a phone number that allowed anyone, from around the world, to call into the country and talk to a random Swede.

Now, in a campaign from Forsman & Bodenfors aimed at the U.S. market, Visit Sweden has put the entire country on an Airbnb listing. The idea actually hinges on the country's "Allemansratt," the right of public access, and it allows any person to roam Sweden and enjoy any of its natural wonders such as lapland, coastlines, countryside, mountains, without any disturbance.

"This is made possible thanks to a Swedish right guaranteed by the constitution -- freedom to roam," said Visit Sweden's USA Country Manager Jenny Kaiser in a statement. "Freedom to roam allows everyone and anyone to be free amidst Swedish nature with the right to access, walk, cycle or camp on any land, with private gardens and lands under cultivation being the only exception. The idea of free nature accessible to anyone is in the DNA of every Swede, but with great freedom comes responsibility. The general rule for spending time in nature is 'do not disturb, do not destroy -- just like in any other home."

The idea offers Stateside visitors the sort of access they won't necessarily find in their own country and was created in partnership with Airbnb. House rules on the various Sweden listings, whether it's for a "Beach With Large Limestone Columns" or a "Cliff With a Panoramic Ocean View" read, "Our only ask is that you're being mindful of the nature and neighbors ... The things you leave behind are your footsteps, and the things you take with you are memories."

According to Airbnb General Manager Northern Europe James McClure, this is a first-of-a-kind collaboration between a tourism board and Airbnb.