Helsinki desperately needs more international experts, entrepreneurs, and investors. Helsinki Partners had an idea for an ambitious relocation program; the challenge was to get the message out to the world. How to reach the right experts and convince them to come to Finland?
Netprofile conceptualized and implemented the 90 Day Finn campaign, which brought the program broad, global visibility, a flood of applications and, eventually, genuine business for Finland. The campaign has won numerous awards in industry competitions in Finland and worldwide.
Helsinki needs high-skilled immigration to ease labor shortage, especially in the technology sector. The city, however, competes with Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam, among others, for the same top experts, entrepreneurs, and investors.
90 Day Finn was created under a tight schedule by Helsinki Partners and Netprofile at the end of 2020. The goal was to launch the "Get to know Finland in three months" program in October 2021 so that approximately 15 participants could to be selected before the end of the year.
The goal was to receive one thousand relevant applications from university-educated technology professionals and investors, primarily from Silicon Valley. The challenge was that the target groups are highly desirable in all countries and can choose where they live.
In just three weeks, Netprofile conceptualized the campaign, came up with a name that evokes emotional connotations and produced campaign materials containing text, images, and video that spoke to the target audience. Netprofile identified the strategically most important message to be a humane one: In Finland, work and life are in balance. To convey the key message, Netprofile recruited easily relatable international professionals living in Helsinki to tell their stories in their authentic voices amidst their everyday life. The campaign contents were targeted at Silicon Valley using media communication, native advertising, and social media as channels.
The campaign results and the applicants' high quality exceeded all expectations. Applications flooded in not only from Silicon Valley but also from the rest of the world. More than 5,300 relevant applications were received during the five-week application period – more than five times the original goal!
A key element in the success of the pilot program were the precisely targeted campaigns on social media and native advertising in selected news media. They collected almost 7.5 million impressions, more than 60,000 clicks, and about half a million video impressions in 2020–2022.
The program gained great results in earned media alike. Media, with a combined readership of 500 million, wrote 135 articles about 90 Day Finn in the program's first application period alone. The program was reported, among others, on BBC, Forbes, The Guardian and Business Insider, as well as Finnish media such as MTV ja Kauppalehti. The quality of applications was also significantly raised by visibility on exclusive tech fora.
Driven by the excellent results, the 90 Day Finn program was repeated also the following year, making it a phenomenon that people still talk about. As many as half of the pilot program’s participants wanted to stay in Finland permanently.
The 90 Day Finn campaign took home a double win at the global communication competition ICCO Awards in 2022. In addition, 90 Day Finn has been awarded the world's best content marketing campaign in the 2021 Digital Communications Awards competition and the best event marketing in the European Excellence Awards 2021.
Johanna Huurre, Business Director, Helsinki Partners