Lapland’s Augmented Reality App

The case study discusses the digital marketing strategy of Lapland to attract foreign tourists from selected target markets.

Lapland in the northern part of Finland is quite a large region about the size of Austria and Slovenia together but with only 180.000 people and 200.000 reindeers that live in Lapland. The destination is very rich in natural resources.

Lapland in the northern part of Finland is quite a large region about the size of Austria and Slovenia together but with only 180.000 people and 200.000 reindeers that live in Lapland. The destination is very rich in natural resources.

The Regional Council of Lapland is a regional, politically steered joint municipal board. It manages the national development programme work related to the national and EU structural funds and operates as the administrative authority of the Kolarctic ENPI programme.

The Council is also in charge of international cooperation efforts in the region. The Regional Rescue Services of Lapland - in charge of the regional safety and rescue operations - operate under the Council. It also leads the tourism development work and image marketing campaigns and the general Lapland branding work for all industries and society.

Lapland Location
Lapland's location on the world map

Lapland's Brand Identity

Lapland – Above Ordinary – this is the region’s brand identity in short. Lapland is spiritually, geographically and in its actions above the ordinary. Lapland is a focal point for a good life, where you may be proud of yourself, your community, your own and shared milestones in life, as well as ways of doing things. Lapland is the leading region in the Arctic area, the best of the Arctic.

The main message of Lapland’s brand identity is based on five factors or USP’s:

  • Rich in nature,
  • Creative madness,
  • Open and Arctic,
  • Arctic magic and
  • Consider it done!

Lapland Brand Identity
Lapland's Brand Identity

All key actors and companies within the region of Lapland are served with a brand handbook and other tools, but most important is that they include the brand philosophy in their strategies, product development, decisions, planning – everywhere – and that the locals are accepting and supporting the brand message. Many tasks are now covered by EU funded projects, the regional council and by some other organisations such as the Chamber of commerce. However, a permanent organisation for brand management and “synchronising” the communication of the region is in planning.

Digital Marketing

The general aim of Lapland's digital marketing strategy is to attract foreign tourists from selected target markets. The Region of Lapland is working with Visit Finland.

Recent campaigns

Lapland is focusing its campaigns on tourism image marketing campaigns that aim to increase awareness and the attractiveness of Lapland and Northern Finland. Key markets were selected for this image campaign. These are the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Russia.

The Region of Lapland is different. It is a land of full extremes. The attraction of Finnish Lapland is the wilderness (with conveniences) which makes all other destinations feel ordinary.

Augmented reality app - Laplication

In September 2012, the region of Lapland launched their augmented reality application called Laplication in London. This app is based on the simple idea that people can experience the wonder of the Northern Lights anywhere, anytime. The Northern Lights are visible for up to 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland.

The idea of the augmented reality app is to make the unique experience of the Northern Lights accessible to everybody, no matter where they are in the world. Through the incredible augmented reality technology, users can actually experience the phenomenon through their Smartphones or Tablets in the palm of their hands.

However, the app also takes into consideration that it is all about creating memorable experiences and moments with the app. The Laplication app, therefore, integrates a toolkit where users can "laplify their photos". This basically means that holiday photos can be laplified and turned into "no ordinary photos". By using the Lapland themed image editor, different filters and objects can be chosen from the "Lapstagram".

Starting with the Northern Lights, a simple 3D Skybox was developed which was then connected to the device's gyroscope. The concept of the app is quite simple as the animated Northern Lights are superimposed on top of the camera feed. The app also contains GPS data in form of a compass that tells the user its distance and direction to Lapland.

Within the first week after the launch, the Laplication app was the 6th most downloaded app in the UK in the travel category. Now it is downloaded in more than 79 countries. So far the Laplication app was downloaded more than 18,000 times and is one of the Top 10 Travel Apps for the UK and Netherlands. Due to this success, a Russian and Japanese version is planned. For March 2013, a "Midnight Sun" version of the app is planned to be launched.

Future Goals

Lapland’s major future goal is to have more unified brand communications throughout all regional players and industry sectors.

These different sectors include forestry, reindeer husbandry, tourism, mining, creative industries, nature products, wild food, arctic testing, arts and R&D.

Key Facts:


  • Raising awareness of the region
  • Constant work on digital marketing
  • Accessibility of Lapland
  • Issues with flight connections
  • Reduction of low-cost Routes


  • Brand Identity with 5 core factors or USP's
  • Digital marketing as one priority
  • Key markets targeted with campaigns
  • 2012 launch of augmented reality app - Laplication

Key Takeaways

Published on:
November 2015
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