Day 2 of #CShelsinki was packed full to the brim with inspiration from some truly brilliant speakers. Here’s a few things we took away:
Passion = happiness = good business.
To say Kalle Freese likes a good coffee is an understatement of quite epic proportions. At 21 he’s the current Finnish Barista Champion and currently applies his trade through his own coffee shop , as well as various tastings, educations and catering events. Kalle spoke to us about the importance of passion. In his words, “cleaning the toilet at 1.30am on Friday night and still smiling” is a pretty good indication that you’re doing what you love. Kalle believes that the purpose of any business should be to make people happy, and in turn happy people make for good business. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, change it.
Show people an ideology through an experience.
Sauna is part of the DNA that makes up Finland. Traditionally, when building a house the sauna is the first thing to be constructed. With the rise of private saunas being built into most residences, public saunas have fallen out of fashion. Tuomas Toivonen is a musician and architect, his partner Nene Tsuboi is an artist. Together they have built a ‘cultural sauna’, a public space where they can communicate the ideologies they are passionate about by giving people a shared experience. Within the sauna people shed their identity, “The Prime Minister could be sat next to a homeless man” Tuomas explained. The Kulttuurisauna has become both their office and a public sauna, and being there every day, dealing with every aspect of its maintenance has given them a holistic view of how it operates. Tuomas explained that he not only serves the ideology of sauna, but the actual building itself; it has become his master.
Jani Leinonen hacks advertising. The Finnish artist has achieved a notorious reputation by applying his trade to the branded objects that surround our everyday lives. In 2010 Jani formed a group calling themselves the Food Liberation Army. They abducted a life size Ronald McDonald statue from the local restaurant and uploaded a video message on YouTube threatening to ‘decapitate’ Ronald if the company failed to answer questions about the quality of its food and work ethics. They didn’t. Ronald lost his head and eventually Jani ended up in jail, but this only encouraged him to continue to pursue his exploration of people’s relationships with advertising. Recent projects have seen him ‘hacking’ well known packaging, logotypes and icons to create art. The reactions to his work show that twisting something that has become the norm can be a powerful tool to provoke thought and discussion.
Corporations need start-ups.
Sami Kuusela has his finger firmly on the pulse of the start-up scene in Finland. He’s been the co-founder of multiple companies and knows the scene better than most. It hasn’t been an easy ride for Finnish entrepreneurs (the word translates to ‘trier’.) Low investments into new ventures, and a history of near impossible exists, has made it tough. However Sami is confident that the tide is turning and he thinks the best way to speed up this process is to bridge the gap between start-ups and corporations. Sami sees himself as a guy between two cultures, hoodies and suits; his businesses’ name is Hupparihörhö (Hoodie Dude). He now focuses much of his energy on this role, working the big businesses and helping them to understand that to grow they must learn from and partner with start-ups. The innovation and fresh thinking that they naturally breed are assets that established companies should value and proactively seek to implement.
A great marketing strategy is nothing without a quality product.
Many ideas are born in a bar, and that’s exactly what happened to Olli Hietalahti. While working in the advertising industry in Amsterdam, he was sat in a bar with his friend and colleague Jouko Laune. There was a rum poster on the wall with the caption “Ron de…”, it occurred to them that the Spanish for rum was “ron”. While there are many Rons in the world, few are as well known as Ron Jeremy, the adult film legend. What started as a joke in the bar developed into a brand, and after the guys convinced Ron to allow them to use his name, it felt like all of the pieces to create Ron de Jeremy Rum, apart from one, were in place: neither of them yet knew anything about making rum. A few Google searches later and it became clear that if this was to be a successful business they needed to find someone that could make a great product. That came in form of Don Pancho, a man with 50 years of experience in making beautifully crafted rum. Olli’s creation is now available in 22 countries, and they are expanding One Eyed Spirits (the umbrella brand) into new territories as a creative spirits incubator. Through these new projects they will continue to develop great marketing strategies that explore pop culture and celebrity, creating an authentic story to make it more loveable and sharable. The core, however, always has to been to begin with a quality product.
Huge thank you to our hosts for today hasan & partners, a brilliant and beutiful agency.
Special shout to our event partners Nokia and Microsoft.
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