The Purposeful Brand Award





Visit Finland Masterclass of Happiness – Scaling nations secrets to meet global needs

Visit Finland

Finland is a small, sparsely populated Nordic nation with big ambitions to become a significant player in the world of international tourism. After all, tourism is an essential industry in the Nordics, making a substantial and growing contribution to the economy.

Despite its beauty, Finland has been overshadowed and outspent by its neighbors and other bucket list destinations. However, the Finnish government tourism organization, Visit Finland, was on a mission to make a difference.

Nordic people are known for their relaxation and happiness. What most people don't know is that, of all the Nordic nations, it's actually the Finns who are officially the happiest. In fact, in the United Nations World Happiness Report, Finland has been ranked as the happiest nation in the world for six consecutive years. This aspect of national happiness has been ingrained at the core of the Visit Finland brand: Our purpose is to help people find calm and happiness. In several campaigns, we have achieved this by creating emotional and sensory experiences that impact people on a profound level, as we did with our previous global hit campaign, "Rent a Finn."

However, when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, it had the same effect on travel. Visit Finland needed to find a new angle to leverage the unique national happy lifestyle and make it relevant to the global traveling audience.

The approach was unveiled with a study: People today have become distant from true happiness, with 45% having forgotten what happiness feels like, and every fourth person no longer remembering its sensation. We decided to step in. The Finnish state-of-mind is not a secret or mystical ability that Finns are born with; rather, it's a skill that can be taught.

Introducing the Masterclass of Happiness – a crash course designed to share the lifestyle of the world's happiest nation to people around the world.

The Masterclass of Happiness was built around four themes: Nature & Lifestyle, Health & Balance, Design & Everyday, and Food & Wellbeing. These themes also embody Visit Finland's USPs. The Masterclass content was meticulously curated, starting with in-depth research to identify the right coaches and collaboratively creating lesson content with them to provide value to all Masterclass participants.

The initial phase took place in Finland as a live Masterclass and was attended by 14 selected participants. The selection process was organized as a social media activation, resulting in 150,000 applications. Please watch a video:

This live experience was subsequently transformed into online content, making it available as a learning tool for everyone.

With a communication budget only a fraction of that of our competitors, we needed to find a smarter way to make the biggest possible impact. We knew our campaign would succeed if we managed to attract attention to Finland, create a PR phenomenon, engage with our audiences, generate digital demand and traffic for our channels, and, in the long term, create value for both the brand and travel itself. And that’s exactly what we did – at this point, the campaign has become a global phenomenon, surpassing all our previous successes. It has reached over 190 countries, generated more than 2,500 media hits, garnered 7.5 million hashtag views on TikTok, and increased website traffic by an impressive 350%.

We offered people around the world the opportunity to master their happiness, to learn the secrets of Finns. This message resonated globally and spurred action. Visit Finland’s Masterclass of Happiness is available for people around the world and it’s a simple way to get started with the Finnish happy lifestyle.

At its core, the campaign aimed to do more than just increase tourism. Through the Masterclass, we fostered encounters that were not only enriching but also deeply meaningful. Now, the theme of happiness has become an integral and distinct aspect for Finnish tourism operators, serving as a platform for various initiatives. It emanates from our genuine national character, focusing on traveler's' experiences rather than just the destination itself. Our overall strategy and the Masterclass of Happiness give the brand's purpose meaning, benefiting not only Visit Finland but also the industry, the Finnish nation, and travelers.

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The People's Choice Award Winner