The Parody Mayor
Since its rebranding in 2017, Pori has consistently relied on actions and emotions in its marketing communications. During the rebranding, it was discovered that people have a surprising relationship with the city of Pori – it evokes unexpectedly passionate emotions in its residents and other people alike.
Previous Pori branding campaigns designed by us included love letters and creating a Pori-themed perfume. We wanted to continue the ‘love’ theme but with a new angle, all while still building on the city’s unique relationship with its current and former residents.
1. To make Pori talked about again. Cities thrive on attention – only things that get seen and remembered can attract attention and consideration in terms of migrants, tourists, and business. Pori wanted to be known for its love and courage and for its personality; it didn’t want to get lost in the conventions of municipal marketing.
2. Another challenge for the city is the media budget. Pori’s strategy since 2017 has been to create such interesting marketing communications that attract media attention. Since we can’t afford to buy our way into people’s top-of-mind, we have to to get there through genuinely bold and unique campaigns.
3. Pori wanted to reach the most promising target group – people who are considering returning and who already have some kind of relationship with the city. The aim was to remind these people of Pori’s unique spirit through self-depreciating humor.
But what could be the marketing communication act that could put our city back on the lips of the nation? How could we continue marketing with Pori’s distinctive flair after the moderate successes of the previous years – and perhaps build something even bigger?
The Creative idea: Porilationship Counseling
Pori evokes emotions in its residents and its experience – we seized this tension between people and city – and gave this relationship a name:Porilationship.
We decided to build our campaign around this one-word concept and word play. In many ways, a “Porilationship” is quite like a ‘real’ relationship
And like real relationships, Porilationships sometimes need counseling. Together with actor and stand-up comedian Joonas Nordman, we created the character of Porilationship Counselor. She’s a person who puts people’s porilationships into order, answering calls in a funny video series. The character was based on the Mayor of Pori, Aino-Maija Luukkonen. With some careful makeup, Joonas Nordman became an eerily similar look-a-like, which added an extra layer to the joke. Hardly ever before has a city’s leadership volunteered to become the model for a campaign sketch character. – which of course, presented a great PR opportunity.
The campaign was based on videos distributed on social media, in which the Porilationship Counsellor Luukkone dishes out advice on people’s relationships with Pori – or Porilationships. Sometimes it’s hard to say whether she talks about genuine, real relationships or cities…. and very often it all leads into sex.
In the first season of the campaign, the counsellor answered calls from people struggling with their relationship – and Porilationship – challenges. The episodes covered the whole spectrum of Porilationships: Dying Porilationships, Poriamory (relationships with multiple cities), Portner Switching (trying it out with a new city), etc.
Porilationship Test and a range of products with bags, underwear and cards built for the campaign. As the campaign became a hit, many sold out.
The results of the campaign were nothing short of marvelous. The videos sparked off the debate on radio and TV, the newspaper columns were full of related news and social media was full of shared links and commentary.
- The videos have been watched organically more than 8 million times on the City of Pori channels alone. This is quite remarkable in a country with only about 5 million residents.
- On Pori’s social media channels, the campaign gathered 276 877 reactions, 18 277 shares and 16 506 comments
- 46 days have been spent on the campaign videos on TikTok
- Porilationship received over 270 hits in the media, including a free live broadcast of a campaign video on national TV
- The potential reach of digital media alone was over 38 000 000 people and the campaign has earned media coverage worth several million euros.
- More than 130 000 visits to the campaign page on rakastuporiin.fi. A mighty 4000 % increase in visits!
- Pori’s migration gain in 2022 was higher than at any time since 1980!
The total budget of the campaign was only 160 000€