The Swedish Post Promo, Case study PAPA PIÑATA by Akestam.holst Stockholm

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Industry Postal, Courier, Shipping & Freight services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sweden
Agency Akestam.holst Stockholm
Creative Director Andreas Ullenius
Copywriter Hanna Bjork
Released October 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Public Sector
Product/Service: POSTAL SERVICE
Creative Director: Andreas Ullenius (Åkestam Holst)
Copywriter: Hanna Björk (Åkestam Holst)
Art Dircetor: Lars Holthe (Åkestam Holst)
Account Director: Jacob Stjärne (Åkestam Holst)
Account Manager: Maria Ljung (Åkestam Holst)
Pinata Manager: Henrik Adenskog (Åkestam Holst)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Jonas Brodén (The Swedish Post)
Advertiser's PR Supervisor: Anette Eriksson (The Swedish Post)
Media placement: Cyber - Campaign Site - 1 November 2010
Media placement: Cyber - - 1 November 2010
Media placement: PR - Journalists - 1 November 2010

Summary of the Campaign
Let piñatas show the way!
The Swedish postal service; Posten, had been struggling with an image of being rather old-fashioned and not the most flexible company in the world. Furthermore, an association that Posten would very much love to own is ”delivery of large things,” since people and companies send parcels like never before. However, people mainly think of Posten as a flat-mail delivering company. In order to show Posten’s excellence in delivering large things, we teamed up with a man who had a strange but fascinating hobby; he collected piñatas. His wife gave him an ultimatum and he had to get rid of them all. Who better to help than Posten? Objective: get people to see and try Posten’s flexibility and brilliance when it comes to delivering large things, and portray Posten as a fun, modern company. Strategy: get people in involved in a low-envolvement product by building everything around an interesting story that people would want to take part of. Outcome: an increase in parcels sent with Posten, a large number of people interacting with a new side of Posten, and valuable PR in broad, high-reach media as well as social media.

The Situation

Posten was long a governmentally owned company that had monopoly on postal services. With such a heritage, Posten has had trouble justifying its existence in the new digital era where people send less tangible letters and more and more digital messages. However, since the increase in web-shopping (B2B and C2C), Posten’s and main competitors’ (e.g. DHL and Schenker) business is once again extremely relevant. But with strong and new competitors on the field, Posten needs to prove themselves as both modern AND as a company that specializes not only in flat-mail delivery, but also in deliverance of large things.

The Goal
The goal was to open all Swedes’ eyes and get them to associate Posten with large parcels and sending large things and also get them to do so to a larger extent. Also, there is a need for Posten to be perceived as modern and solution-oriented in order to get people and companies to do business with them more often. The target audience for this campaign are all Swedes who send and/or receive large things on a regular basis.

The Strategy
The insight that the strategy is built upon is that Swedes have loads of things in their homes, which they could easily sell on Ebay and consequently clean up some mess and make a buck, all while learning how excellent Posten is. So, in order to inspire people to sell and send things with Posten, we had to make it entertaining and offer an inspiring story. This was also important in our mission to generate PR. Parcels are after all very boring. Another important part of the strategy was to re-define social media. 40% of all Swedes are Facebook members, but 80% visit Sweden’s largest web-based market places on a regular basis. We decided to use Swedish Ebay (“Tradera”) as our main media.

What was important was that we could find and steer a story in a favorable direction, but without having to play with the truth. For example; as long as the story is not fabricated and as long as we can find relevancy for our message, it could qualify. We found a man who had been collecting piñatas for many years but now had to get rid of them due to a wife who had had it. A website was created for this Papa Piñata, connected to Posten and to Tradera. All piñatas were put up for auction and in order to make it more interesting and worth following the progression, people could follow a countdown to Christmas (starting in November), which was also a countdown to divorce… unless he got rid of all piñatas. Of course there was a risk of failure, but the campaign carried through.

Documented Results
Most appropriate success indicator is changes in transaction volumes at Posten’s 1600 post agents (letter and parcel services). Here is where you go when you send or retrieve packages that won’t fit mailboxes or mail-slots. Results show a vast increase in transaction volumes during the campaign period compared to the previous year: +9% in November and +15% in December. The campaign also generated approximately 20 minutes public service radio coverage; needless to say, extremely valuable PR. Posten’s image was positively affected, making Posten appear more modern and interesting.

By the way, all piñatas were eventually sold and the marriage was saved.