Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finnish Tourism Media

by Molly Cartwright

2009 Visit Finland campaign by Mikael Kivela reads "For those less daring we want to point out that jumping straight from a sauna into a whole in the ice, isn't the only way to spoil yourself in Finland. You can also beat yourself with birch branches."

If a country has only the space on a poster or picture to woo the viewer into becoming a tourist, its effort will be in displaying itself in the most ideal way, whether that means having weird but cool local residents or modern cities and a rural countryside. Because of that, the world will always expect the real country to be that ideal image.

Helsinki promotion, Jorma Suhonen, 1940

In 2005, created an advertisement campaign in Helsinki, Finland. The posters poke fun at the way cities or countries have become so oversimplified by tourism media that a few iconic monuments or characteristics can sum them up. For example, one shows a Finnish girl in traditional clothing, playing a Finnish musical instrument, the Kantele. Its message is “If this poster were about Italy, there would be a pizza and pasta in it” and on the bottom it says “There is so much more to it.” (Hugovk). Still, however much Finland boasts about being unique and genuine, its tourism media strategy generally conforms to the rules of the game of promoting a nation, a necessary move to make when the entire world is competing for the attention of the same audience.

Visit Finland, 2005

Below, Finnair "Book Snow" campaign, Mikael Kivela, 2009

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