Tord Baklund's Photo
Tord Baklund


DMO Stories


Tord Baklund, Buzzmaker at Visit Oslo will be joining us on stage at #DTTT Campus on the 20th and 21st of  September in Jersey. Tord will be talking about how they come up with the idea behind Visit Oslo's 'The Great Escape' campaign. If you haven't done it yet, make sure you secure your place to #DTTT Campus! 

Quick introduction to yourself and your organisation

I work as a digital storyteller, content creator oversees our social media channels and work on our campaigns. VisitOSLO is a private company with 250 shareholders within the travel industry in Oslo. With limited budgets we have to collaborate with various organizations and companies to find common goals and shared funding to realize ideas and projects, and we work closely with the municipality on different projects.

What is the biggest content marketing challenge for VisitOslo?

Very limited budgets, so we have to do most of our content production in-house. And we are only a couple of people working with this.

What is Visit Oslo's biggest opportunity in content marketing?

With limited budgets we have to come up with good ideas and produce some cool content that doesn’t cost a lot. We have excellent resources in-house so we can move fast when ideas and opportunities come our way.

How did you come up with the idea behind Visit Oslo's 'The Great Escape' campaign?

Our idea was based on one of Europe's fastest growing issues affecting not only the tourist industry, but also the local population. Overtourism in Europe is a truly a critical problem. Oslo however, is a young and developing capital. With a booming art and culture scene. Oslo can finally compete with larger European capitals, offering a spacious and sustainable destination all year around. We wanted to show tourists that Oslo is the Queen of Nordic Cool and portray the diversity of activities that is Oslo in a fun and creative way to attract people's attention.

As an organisation, what role do you have in marketing the destination through content?

We are a private company with over 250 owners from the travel industry in the Oslo region. On behalf of these companies and organisations we market Oslo internationally, and we almost exclusively do it through our web and social channels.

Tell us more about the campaign process.

International studies show that Oslo is completely unknown in the world. When Scandinavia is in focus, Copenhagen and Stockholm get all the glory, and “Scandimania” has yet to include Oslo as a must visit destination. Oslo Brand Alliance (Oslo Business Region, VisitOSLO and Oslo Region), a municipally funded initiative to promote Oslo internationally, wanted to put Oslo on the map last summer by finding an innovative, efficient and digital way of promoting the city internationally in line with their values: groundbreaking, enriching and real. There was a limited budget for the project and a prerequisite in the brief was to think smart, different and bold.

The goal was to attract international attention to Oslo in a new and noncommercial way. We wanted to show Oslo as strong alternative to other big cities with long queues, scorching weather and overcrowded tourist attractions. The idea of rescuing someone was quickly agreed on, and we had a pretty clear idea about what we wanted to show the rescued people, but we struggled with how to go about finding them. When we found them it all unfolded very rapidly and the film team worked really hard for 48 hours shooting, and another 48 hours post production.

How did you identify the couple to rescue via social media?

We searched through social media, mostly Twitter and Instagram, and concentrated on cities where we know it is crowded in the summer – London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome etc. We also tried Tripadvisor in the beginning, but reviewers usually have already left the place. We spent about 10 days searching, and were in some doubt if we would actually find someone willing to go. We didn’t want to rescue some grumpy person, but someone who reflected on the crowd problem, and ideally we wanted someone who fit our brand.

What would you say are some key learnings from the campaign?

You may be rewarded if you dare to tell a different story.

What results did you see?

The couple´s snapshot of what Oslo has to offer has now been viewed by nearly 9 times the population of Oslo. Lasting nearly 4 minutes, the film has managed to capture viewers in a way rarely seen in online material with thousands of comments from people eager to visit. The film has also been featured in numerous travel, news and advertising articles around the world, truly placing Oslo on the map as a great destination for a big city escape. Even without paid media support a part from moderate Facebook boosting, the film has received over 6 million views in social media with 90% of the viewers coming from international audiences.

How does the campaign inform future content activities?

We originally intended to “save” three people/couples, but the whole project was really difficult to execute, and we were afraid to make bleak copies of the first one.

What will attendees be able to take away from your talk?

Hopefully they will be inspired, and go back thinking that it is possible to tell the stories of a city or a place in many different ways. You can achieve quite a lot without huge budgets if you find good ideas and the right people to develop and execute them.

What excites you the most about our 2018 #DTTT Campus?

It is always very inspiring to see what ideas other destinations have come up with, what is going on in other parts of the world. And the people attending are a huge asset in themselves.


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