Cases 23.04.2023

How one K-Market retailer’s intervention in bullying caused the phenomenon

Marketing development Creative content Influencer marketing

In autumn 2021, nearly 800 K-Markets declared themselves bullying-free zones. The responsible operating model was launched with an impressive campaign that garnered wide attention all the way to the main news broadcasts. In 2022, there was a shift from proclamation to more concrete action – the multimedia campaign and store measures included more influencers who went to work at K-Markets to report on the situation. The results were staggering and had a profound impact on the image and behaviour of Finns.

Where did it all begin?

K-Market retailer Ville Kestilä noticed bullying between schoolchildren near his shop. He decided to take up the issue and declared his shop a bully-free zone. The good deed hit so deeply into K-Market’s responsibility thinking and the core of customer care that it was quickly expanded into a nationwide operating model.

In autumn 2021, all the other nearly 800 K-Markets declared themselves bullying-free zones. The matter was communicated impressively through communications and advertising.

We all have a responsibility to address bullying. K-Markets are a strong part of their own community in villages and blocks around Finland. We want to set an example in preventing bullying and encourage others to take action.

Anne Weide, Marketing Director, K-Market

Data was used as a basis for strategy

The launch campaign was investigated in 2021. According to the report, the bullying-free zone operating model was considered good, but concrete action was needed around it. People are wondering how the store actually tackles bullying and what kind of expertise the staff has.

Therefore, in the 2022 campaign, we focused more on concreteness, utilising the data obtained from the results of the previous campaign: we highlighted more strongly what a bullying-free zone means, how it is visible in customers’ everyday lives and what has happened in stores since the launch of the operating model.

We told how there is always an adult present at the k-market to turn to in bullying situations and how the store staff listens and helps to seek help. We also highlighted more strongly the fact that K-Market’s partner, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, has distributed information on bullying and practical advice on how to act in bullying situations to the store’s entire staff.

In the follow-up of the campaign, we chose to combine commercial cooperation with a ready-made content concept. We wanted to ensure the reach and high attention value of the campaign also for the upcoming campaign.

Dagmar designed the media package using data and lessons learned from the previous campaign. In the encounter planning, we kept well-functioning media and utilised existing creative materials as much as possible. In addition, we focused on deepening our cooperation with the two influencers involved in the departure of autumn 2021 to a concrete level.

K-Market’s successful entity is based on strong brand work, customer understanding and the continuous use of data to support planning.
As a whole, it has also been great that the focus has not only been on advertising, but also on how the campaign will be implemented in all customer encounters.

Miila Peltonen, Business Director, Dagmar

Dagmar built a meeting plan with seamlessly integrated influencer marketing

In spring 2022, the focus of the campaign was shifted from the proclamation to the area around the shops, and people were challenged to make their own neighbourhood a bully-free zone. The main target group is families with children. The discussion was raised again in August, at the start of the school year, reminding people of the importance of tackling bullying.

Dagmar was responsible for meeting planning and consulted influencer marketing as a whole to ensure that it fit seamlessly with the rest of the campaign.

Influencer marketing played a significant role in the campaign. Both influencers who speak to young people and merchant influencers were selected. For youth influencers, the emphasis was on YouTube content, which enabled us to reach the young target group effectively and to gain support and additional reach for TV advertising. Roni Bäck and Tixtuu, who were already familiar from previous collaborations, were sent to work at a k-market to talk to retailers. They report what they saw and experienced on YouTube and Instagram.

I regularly receive messages from followers who are bullied at school. Messages sometimes make you feel powerless and frustrated, because bullying is often not addressed directly.

Conveying empathy and encouragement to the bullied person is the least I could do, but I wanted to do something better.
I had already thought about how I could concretely talk about bullying and discrimination in school classrooms so that it would have a real impact.

Roni Bäck, YouTuber

The campaign activated consumers and sparked extensive discussion around the topic

The multimedia campaign planned for K-Market reached approximately 3 million Finns, sparked discussion among up to half a million Finns and made it to the main news broadcasts as well as widely in regional media.

The campaign achieved a whopping 91% attention. More than half of consumers felt that advertising stood out well compared to other advertising in the retail sector, and it was particularly well-liked.

The campaign appealed to emotions, sparked discussion about anti-bullying and has mobilised people to intervene in bullying: as many as about a quarter say they have intervened in bullying through the campaign.

Influencer marketing and the right kind of influencers played a very significant role in the success of the 2022 campaign.

Roni Bäck’s video report “I worked a day at the grocery store! (in real jobs)” became Finland’s second most popular YouTube video (commercial collaboration) in 2022 (950,000 views during the year). It also hovered at number one on the trending chart for several days.

Cooperation with Dagmar is open and direct. Our joint team has visionary expertise, open discussion and good challenging on both sides.

All our key indicators have developed strongly since 2018. The attitude of growth and doing things positively is on point.

Jaana Eskola, markkinointipäällikkö, K-Market

K-Market’s excellent campaigning proved that effective marketing can improve the state of our society.

THL Public Health Award 2022
Bronze Effie Finland 2022
MIXX Awards, Best responsible marketing act 2023

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