Swedish insurance company Länsförsäkringar, working alongside Agency Stendahls, has started a successful movement combatting fake online facades that are causing low self-esteem and anxiety among teenagers. How? By turning influencers into human billboards – with a message against their own perfectionism.
Social media is damaging the mental health of Swedish teenagers due to constant comparisons with influencers and unattainable ideals. Länsförsäkringar, wanted to shine a light on this and help teens see beyond all fake online facades. The problem was teens wouldn’t listen to an insurance company…
They turned the problem into the solution. Länsförsäkringar hijacked what they saw as superficial venues – several major Swedish fashion events – and joined forces with the people causing the problem: influencers on front row. They became the solution, wearing the #ImPerfect t-shirt they turned into human billboards with a contradictory message against their own perfectionism.
The human billboards filtered into teen’s social feeds overnight. Within days all major national media covered the story. Major celebrities/influencers such as actors, rock stars and designers joined the movement. Länsförsäkringar also launched the ImPerfect web series, introducing a new subject in schools: Social Media Behaviour. The initiative got 40 million organic reach (4 times Sweden’s population) and 65 % recognition (100% above business target). And the topic continues to be on the agenda for a healthier Sweden.
We spoke to Peter Ohlsson, Vice President & Key Account Manager at Stendahls who told us:
“Sweden is a country, and a people, who has embraced digitization to the full. We are quite early adopters and we like new technology. The government and society as a whole are encouraging companies, schools and people to be very digital. I guess it’s about efficiency and competitiveness for a small country who is constantly competing with big countries like the US, UK, Germany and Asia.
But maybe there will be a backlash? Maybe we have jumped in to this digital world a bit to fast?
Since around 2007 there has been quite a dramatic increase of mental health problems, especially for teenagers. I don’t think digitalization is the only problem, stress in schools and a general stress and constant comparisons in society is also part of this, but Länsförsäkringar decided to focus on the problems with social media.
We wanted to do a campaign that not only raised a flag saying; ”Hey – look what a big problem”. We also wanted to help with a solution. So – part of the campaign is material for schools to download via the campaign website, misslyckad.se. It is 5 films that we call webisodes where a youth psychologist and two girls in their early twenties talk to and lifts up various situation where social media can be a problem. Together with a workshop material that can be downloaded it is a small course in social media behavior and reflection. Schools all over Sweden has downloaded the material and we have got very nice feedback which feels very good.”