Visit Sweden: Discover the Originals

How do you generate global awareness about, and interest in, Sweden as a destination? If you have an extremely limited PR budget, you need a big idea – or a big problem…

As part of a multi-agency group, H+K developed a PR and global media outreach strategy for Visit Sweden to generate global impact and present Swedish destinations via earned media.

With a minimal budget we had to think outside the box. Leveraging the insight that visitors to Sweden are missing out on experiencing many stunning gems within the country, due to online searches of these locations turning up images of IKEA products that share the same name such as toilet brushes (Bolmen), sofas (Ektorp) and waste bins (Toftan); Visit Sweden launched a film which presented these stunning Swedish locations, while describing the IKEA situation with a range of comparison images. The message was clear – Sweden was about to reclaim the names from IKEA in a campaign to help tourists ‘Discover the Originals’ and experience the beautiful hidden swedish gems behind those weird IKEA product names.

In November of 2021, local politicians, residents, and media gathered by lake Bolmen for the presentation of the lake’s new slogan: Welcome to Bolmen, more than an IKEA toilet brush. In social media, even more beautiful pictures and catchy slogans were offered. Everything pointed towards the Visit Sweden where a guide to 21 lovely places was detailed. Just hours after going live the campaign was covered by Sweden’s biggest new stations – and then it went global! Many of the world’s biggest publishers within news, travel, and design wrote about the campaign. Some stations received special PR kits with humorous Bolmen merchandise.

Through the campaign, people got to know the truth about IKEA’s mythical product names and the Swedish locations got the attention they deserve.

The results exceeded all expectations and set goals, generating more than 700 articles and 300 blog posts in 49 countries. With a minimal media budget, the campaign got a potential organic reach of 2.1 billion.

Sweden officially reclaimed its names.

The campaign was recognized with a Gold and Silver Lion for Creative Strategy at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022.

Sector: Retail + Leisure
Specialist expertise: Media Relations
Office: Stockholm

More Work