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How an Experiential Stunt in Finland Challenged Lobbying Norms and Sparked Nationwide Debate

Lobbying usually will get a nasty rap, conjuring photographs of backdoor offers corrupting politicians with cash. However over in Finland, a artistic company challenged these norms with an uncommon lobbying marketing campaign utilizing experiential advertising and marketing.

In contrast to many lobbing efforts that occur behind closed doorways, the marketing campaign for Finnish retail large S Group garnered nationwide media consideration and galvanized supporters and critics throughout the nation. It was created by United Imaginations, an company based final yr by three former TBWAHelsinki executives. 

The context is that this: Finland’s pharmacy market is without doubt one of the strictest and monopolized within the European Union. Medicines, together with chilly medicines or painkillers, are solely allowed to be bought at privately-owned neighborhood pharmacies. 

S-Group, Finland’s largest retail chain, is lobbying for a system akin to different European nations, the place medicines could possibly be bought in retail chains, supermarkets and by way of on-line pharmacies (whereas nonetheless beneath the supervision {of professional} pharmacists). The retailer stated in an announcement that it “desires Finnish customers to learn from extra reasonably priced medicines, higher opening hours and new pharmacy companies.”  

Utilizing experiential methods

To problem the established order, S Group enlisted United Imaginations, which determined to convey this debate to the general public. The company constructed a mannequin pharmacy within the coronary heart of Finnish capital Helsinki. 

Within the prototype pharmacy, folks can browse the cabinets and expertise first-hand a unique manner of accessing medicines–thus drawing their very own conclusions about whether or not to vary the system. 

“S Group needed to rethink what lobbying could possibly be in a contemporary society open to debate and new views,” stated Jyrki Poutanen, artistic director and founding member of United Imaginations. “No hiding behind gimmicky messages, no hush-hush about their objective. They needed to be utterly open about their position within the dialog.”

Guests may browse the prototype pharmacy and determine for themselves whether or not the nation wanted itUnited Imaginations

The marketing campaign took a flip when a critic observed a typo on a bundle of pretend vitamin D, which used the inaccurate unit of micrograms as a substitute of milligrams. The error sparked a debate in Finnish media, with the opposition arguing that supermarkets had no proper to promote any sort of drugs. 

However that mistake, which was then mounted, ended up bringing extra visibility to the marketing campaign. The mannequin pharmacy turned headline information in Finland and began a nationwide dialog about having a extra open and aggressive pharmacy market. 



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