#LIFEINHEL social media experiment a “success”

Helsinki, HEL, social media, marketing, airport, China, #LIFEINHEL, ryan zhou, actor, success, result, views, billion


More than 2 billion people “might have come across” the campaign

Finnish airport operator Finavia has declared its social media experiment #LIFEINHEL a success, declaring that more than 2 billion people “might have come across” the campaign.

In the campaign, Chinese media personality Ryan Zhu lived in Helsinki Airport for 30 days. Now, based on his feedback, Finavia says it will develop facilities for passengers even further.

“So far, close to 2.2 billion people might have come across his adventure through social media postings and hundreds of media coverages,” Finavia says.

Although the #LIFEINHEL initiative highlighted Helsinki Airport as “the leading airport in Northern Europe”, Finavia took a risk in launching the campaign as it had no control over Zhu’s postings.

“We wanted to have a comprehensive insight of how an international transit passenger sees us”, explains Katja Siberg, Finavia’s senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Chinese food
In the final report, Zhu gives Helsinki Airport an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5, giving for example security and safety and transfer times full marks. But he also suggests more terminal space, new services to overcome language barriers – and perhaps some Chinese food.

“We are very pleased with Ryan’s ratings, of course, but the most valuable insight lies where there are still room for improvements. For example, we share his opinions concerning the lack of space and Chinese food.”

Siberg confirms that “with our extensive €900 million development program, the terminal space will enlarge by 45%, due to which we will expand our food offer – especially with Asian cuisine”.

Zhu also suggests more service staff with proficient language skills could be hired. With their help, tourists could learn more about the food they are eating and the products they buy at the airport.

Helsinki Airport already has Chinese customer service personnel, as well as e-translators in several languages, but Siberg promises that Finavia will look into this matter as well.

Next plane home
“When we decided to cover Ryan’s experiences with short daily videos, we took a risk. Naturally, we had no control over what he and other key opinion leaders would post on social media. But honest and open communication is our core policy and company value. If Ryan had not liked it here, he would have taken the next flight back to China. But it all paid off!” Siberg says.

Siberg points to over 450 media hits around the world covering Zhu’s adventure, with an overall media reach of 2.2 billion and around 10 million video views around the world, by Finavia’s estimations.

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