"The Swedish Number" from Swedish Tourist Association and agency Ingo Stockholm has bagged the Grand Prix in the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity's Direct category. The campaign let people who were interested in visiting the Scandanavian country dial a number to talk to a random Swede for more information.
Mark Tutssel, Leo Burnett chief creative officer and Direct jury president, said, "It's really refreshing to see a campaign that unites 9.5 million brand ambassadors with the world through the most direct form of communication, which is speaking."
Read more about the winners in the Direct category over at AdAge.com.
The Swedish Tourist Association has set up an official telephone number for the country, allowing anyone in the world to call and have a conversation with a random Swedish person.
The so-called "Swedish Number" is being introduced to mark the 250th anniversary of the abolition of censorship in Sweden, and aims to promote the country's celebrated diversity and equality as well as other stuff it's famous for (like IKEA, meatballs, crime novels and Northern Lights).
Magnus Ling, General Secretary & CEO of the Swedish Tourist Association, said in statement that the campaign aims to "show the real Sweden -- a unique country worth visiting with the right of public access, sustainable tourism, and a rich cultural heritage. With The Swedish Number, our goal is to create more pride and knowledge about Sweden, both nationally and internationally."
The campaign was created by Stockholm agency Ingo in collaboration with Grey PR New York and Cohn & Wolfe PR Stockholm. The Swedish Tourist Association partnered with telecoms firm Intelcom to create what it claims is "one of the largest switchboards in the world that supports incoming phone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week." For each call, the switchboard is designed to randomly choose one of a group of people who have signed up to be "Swede ambassadors."
The Swedish Number can be accessed anywhere in the world by calling +46771 793336 (+46771 Sweden). There's also a website where you can learn more about the initiative and see stats on the numbers of calls.