Meaningful Journalism

Helsingin Sanomat is the biggest news media in Finland with a mission to stand in the frontline of meaningful journalism against clickbait headlines and fake news. They wanted to illustrate the importance of quality journalism in the form of outdoor posters and print ads, and highlight different viewpoints to the real issues the Finnish society faces today.

Millions of Words Into 13 Pieces of Art

The paper created The Art of Journalism. In it, the most in-depth and well-written articles of Helsingin Sanomat were given into the hands of the nation’s twelve most celebrated visual artists. They turned these millions of words into 13 pieces of art.

Each of the 12 artists represented different visual genres and crafts; illustrators, graffiti artists, photographers, textile artists, graphic designers, font designers and visual journalists. They were given a vast amount of the most in-depth Helsingin Sanomat articles and an opportunity to pick a theme that they resonated with the most. The only given guideline for all the artists was to create the work around a ‘grid’ made of the iconic outlines of Helsingin Sanomat (HS) logo.

See the artists at work

Well-being by Jani Tolin, Graffiti Artist

Gender Equality by Tekla Vály, Photography Artist

Climate Change by Ville Tietäväinen, Illustrator

The Power of Media by Klaus Welp, Visual Journalist

Preservation of Tradition by Sanna Annukka, Graphic Designer

Fearlessness by Nanna Susi, Visual Artist

A Machine Takeover

In addition to these 12 works, the topic of ‘machines potentially taking over human jobs’ was depicted and visualized by IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence for the 13th piece.

IBM Watson analyzed thousands of Helsingin Sanomat articles, broke them down into simple images, colours and compositions, then ‘stitched’ together its data-centric version of the working world today.

13th Factor by IBM Watson

A Deeper Look with Augmented Reality

What started as a 'poster campaign', was also expanded to digital platforms. An 'Augmented Reality -layer' was added to each piece to give the viewer an opportunity to get a deeper look into the artists’ interpretations. The posters were also on display at art exhibitions. They also decorated the streets of Helsinki as urban outdoor exhibitions as they mainly appeared, not as single outdoor posters, but as location take-overs at bus stops etc. So instead of forcing advertising on consumers, Helsingin Sanomat turned its core content into pieces that people spent time with. The pieces were also put on public sale in the form of posters, and the collected revenue – worth thousands of euros – was fully donated to charity.

“In the Art of Journalism campaign, the static art pieces in outdoor posters and printed newspaper were given a voice of their own with help of AR. This gave the viewer a deeper look into the artists’ interpretations.”

– Otso Kähönen / Arilyn, Creative Director

Augmented Reality


Augmented Reality


Augmented Reality


The Results

With The Art of Journalism, we highlighted the fact that Helsingin Sanomat is Finland’s beacon of thoughtful, in-depth journalism, conveying deep understanding to its readers, in form of impactful articles. According to the results our message seems to have struck home.

The number of subscribers grew for the first time in 25 years.

The campaign reached 11 242 000 consumers.

Instead of forcing advertising on consumers, HS turned its core content into pieces that people spent time with.

The public loved the art; many purchased posters representing the original artworks for their homes.

The revenue, worth thousands of euros, went to charity.

The campaign didn’t underestimate its audience. It provided the consumer the joy of discovering the intellectual themes behind the art. This turned into high awareness numbers (83% over the average OOH awareness).

Helsingin Sanomat turned its core essence into impactful art and urban exhibitions in a way that none of its competitors could.