Best in Nonprofit 2017

In an effort to increase curiosity about Sweden, while also highlighting the country's open and honest communication, the tourist association's agency partners decided to hand over control of Sweden's image to the Swedes themselves.

Winner

Cohn & Wolfe, Grey New York, and INGO
The Swedish Number

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sweden becoming the first country to abolish censorship, the Swedish Tourist Association wanted to do something big.

In an effort to increase curiosity about Sweden, while also highlighting the country’s open and honest communication, the tourist association’s agency partners decided to hand over control of Sweden’s image to the Swedes themselves.

The integrated effort was designed to make millions of people curious to learn more about a country and a people of which they knew very little.

By signing the country up for its very own phone number, people from around the world could call in to be connected to a random Swede for a candid conversation about all things Sweden.

The plan was simple: No direction, no script. Just a single line of communication between an authentic, "random Swede" and someone around the world.

A call to action enlisted Swedes to participate by appealing to their "openness" as a collective culture. Any Swede could use the cloud-based switchboard by downloading an app.

Ambassadors — who ranged from stay-at-home moms to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven — spoke about life in Sweden to random callers, which led to unfiltered, unique conversations. Topics included everything from the northern lights to skiing, meatballs to politics.

After the global rollout, agencies identified the strangest, charming, and surprising stories emerging from calls and pitched them to media. The effort spread like wildfire across print, broadcast, and online media, with over 9 billion media impressions worldwide. It received 190,000 calls from 186 countries.

"A truly distinctive effort. It was creative, proud, personal, and inclusive," said one judge. "This campaign was a celebration for the country.


Honorable Mention

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
Werkin’ the GW Look Helps Put People to Work

On a shoestring budget, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont had to #Werk hard in order to attract millennial shoppers to its special holiday pop-up store. By leveraging local social media influencers, the group devised a strategy to target millennials on social platforms and in trendy physical locations. Utilizing key shopper research conducted by the organization, the program exceeded sales goals by 86% in one week, bringing in a total of $37,207 in sales. "This was a very strong initiative that achieved so much with a great ‘can-do’ attitude," said one judge.

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