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Winners of Mesoaja Awards 2020

The jury received more than 80 proposals for the top achievements of 2019, and there were numerous great nominees to choose from. The winning entries are introduced below.


The Experience of the Year: Poetry tasting at Helsinki Book Fair

Elina Salminen, a poet from Helsinki, took part in Helsinki Book Fair in October 2019 with two main goals: raising her company’s profile and generating product sales. Salminen offered a poetry tasting (“Runo-tasting”) in the form of a glass jar filled with more than 400 handcrafted poetry samples from her five poetry books. The samples were glued and rolled up into beautiful little parcels. Visitors were invited to take a parcel out of the jar and read the poem aloud to their friends. They could take the parcel as a souvenir and enjoy the poem again at home.

The results of the book fair far exceeded Salminen’s expectations. The poetry tasting aroused tremendous enthusiasm and excitement. The experience was free, innovative and climate friendly. More than 400 parcels were crafted, and there would have been demand at the fair for many more. The poetry tasting also contributed to the stand sales increasing by over 300 per cent versus the previous year.

The reasoning of the jury: A simple but effective idea that touched people and left a lasting memory. Despite being a small business, this operator showed a capacity for risk-taking and an “all in” attitude.

The Marketing Professional of the Year: S-Bank at the I love me fair

S-Bank wants to turn saving into a national hobby. To achieve this goal, the bank launched Finland’s first micro-saving service Säästäjä in late 2018. It offers an easy and inexpensive way for anyone to begin saving.

S-Bank took part in the I love me event for the first time, becoming the first bank to do so. The main objectives included increasing the visibility of the S-Bank brand with a particular focus on women as a target group, raising the bank’s profile as a provider of asset management products and services as well as introducing the Säästäjä service and encouraging its use.

The S-Bank brand gained highly positive visibility through a featured discussion and an instragrammable stand. The bank vault designed for the stand was a successful activity that drew almost 4,000 visitors. The S-mobiili app obtained plenty of visibility, and the Säästäjä service, which is available through the app, reached a high number of downloads.

The reasoning of the jury: This operator came up with a fresh way to promote its products in a surprising environment. The company successfully commodified a hot topic with plenty of media appeal and targeted a segment with demand for the product.

The Stand of the Year: Marski by Scandic hotel launch at the MATKA travel fair

At the Matka Nordic Travel Fair, Scandic Hotels launched the Marski by Scandic hotel, which opened in the summer of 2019 after one and a half years of refurbishment work.

The objective was to introduce the new high-profile Scandic Signature hotel to Finnish and international consumer and corporate clients. Other goals included making the stand into an interactive and lively event space and recruiting hotel employees among the industry professionals and students visiting the fair.

The event was successful in attracting the interest of consumers and B2B clients. The stand also allowed us to introduce other Scandic hotels and our international brand hotels all over Finland. Furthermore, we were able to recruit new employees for the hotel being launched. Interested and curious visitors flocked to the stand, and the presentations in particular attracted a lot of viewers.

The reasoning of the jury: This company was able to reposition itself in an innovative way and bring a piece of an upcoming experience to the fair. The innovative approach to refreshing a traditional industry became a visible part of the event.

The Exhibition Feat of the Year: Aku Ankka at the Tubecon event

Aku Ankka, the weekly comic featuring Donald Duck, took part in the Tubecon event with a theme park area called Ankkapuisto. It covered 500 square metres and offered various activities from Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin to a wheel of misfortune. In addition to activities, the Aku Ankka stand provided young visitors with heaps of reading on adventures in Duckburg. The company’s main objective for the event was to meet the target audience and offer a positive and different brand experience to Tubecon visitors. Aku Ankka’s mission is to encourage reading and promote the importance of reading skills in a fun way.

Aku Ankka achieved amazing results at the event. A total of 10,000 copies of the special Tubecon number of the comic made for the convention were handed out at the event, along with 5,000 codes for Aku Ankka’s digital service (enabling one month of free access) and thousands of product prizes. Aku Ankka also organised shows presented by YouTubers at the convention. More visitors were interested in the show organised at Ankkapuisto than the area could fit.

Tubecon helped to propel Aku Ankka’s result in August 2019 to the same level as the previous year when the comic was promoted by a massive celebrity endorsement campaign featuring the popular Finnish artist Sanni.

The reasoning of the jury: A classic in a whole new environment. Fresh, topical, delightful, active and engaging. A new kind of generational experience.

The Exhibition Team of the Year: Isku’s teamwork at the Habitare fair

Isku took part in Habitare with the largest stand of the fair, covering a whopping 1,250 square metres. Isku had set three objectives: generating sales, raising the company’s profile and boosting team spirit. The goals set for the fair were met. We raised our profile by reaching most of the 58,000 people who visited Habitare. Furthermore, we reached tens of thousands of people through social media.

Our team spirit during the fair was directly reflected in the sales results. After the fair, this positive spirit and collaborative atmosphere spread to our stores all over Finland, as Isku’s stand at Habitare was managed by employees from different parts of the country. They took this amazing team spirit from the fair to their respective cities and towns.

At Isku, being part of the fair team is an honour. Many people apply, and only a lucky few are chosen to participate. The team consists of different people who complement each other, each with their specific roles.

The reasoning of the jury: The company has maintained a high standard of quality from year to year. A well organised, planned and executed effort to spread positivity on a broad scale. Professional and proudly commercial.

The Impression-Maker of the Year: Tarja Viilola, Creative Director at K-Rauta

Tarja Viilola has taken a courageous approach to refreshing K-Rauta’s event marketing. She has implemented innovative and bold ideas that have spurred a huge structural shift industry events for hardware stores. Tarja’s attitude inspires her team and the customers.

The result is a clear change in the direction of K-Rauta’s event marketing. Tarja Viilola has the ability to strongly engage her team in implementing her vision. The events have achieved amazing results through tight and innovative collaboration characterised by mutual respect. Tarja has been able to drive collaboration through her courage to challenge the status quo, do things in a new way and always demand better results.

Tarja Viilola has also significantly changed K-Rauta’s image in events. As a show of appreciation, the company promoted Tarja from Senior Brand Manager to Creative Director late last year. Kesko has also been able to use examples of K-Rauta’s success in the group’s internal marketing. Tarja Viilola’s team has been very proud of the implementation of K-Rauta’s stands, and this pride has translated to a cheerful and service-minded stand performance at the event.

The reasoning of the jury: A seasoned strategist whose work has had an impact on her organisation’s brand and practices as well as customer behaviour. Infectious passion and enthusiasm.

The Event of the Year: The HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference

Sitra and Business Finland were the main sponsors of the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference, organised in Finland for the first time from 11 June to 13 June 2019 at Messukeskus.

The goal was to bring together international experts in the fields of medicine, technology and digitalisation and to collect and introduce the world’s best innovations in digital health care. Similar events in this field do not exist in Finland or Europe.

The event brought together 3,000 top experts in medicine, technology and digitalisation from more than 50 countries. Helsinki as the venue exceeded all expectations and attracted a record number of visitors. The conference promoted a deeper understanding of the changes and trends in the field of health care and provided an excellent networking opportunity. Companies made high-quality international contacts and set up effective networks amongst themselves.

The reasoning of the jury: A topical, international and successful event with societal significance and a broad and wide-ranging impact.