Valentine’s Day mythbusted the Finnish stereotype

Hugs, smiles, and meaningful encounters. The busiest square of Helsinki experienced something unusual on 14th February in 2019. Read more to find out what happened, and become a part of the world’s most positive crew!

You’ve probably heard the stereotype of a Finnish person: we’re shy and quiet, or at worst – slightly grumpy. On Valentine’s Day, we decided to prove that old tale wrong.

(As a side note for those who don’t know: in Finland, Valentine’s Day is called ‘Friends’ Day’, and it’s about celebrating friendship and love in general.)

Our friends and us – OP Helsinki, CityShoppari and other incredible partners – spent the whole day in the middle of shopping center Kamppi. We made sure that everyone who walked by got a little Valentine’s surprise. Those lucky passers-by got chocolate, gift cards, led lights, special headphone offers, and hugs.

Why this is significant, one might ponder? Stereotypically, in Finland, our personal space is quite wide. Hugging strangers, or even friends, is not that usual for us. We don’t kiss on the cheeks as many other Europeans do – we nod or shake hands instead. However, hugging is not only proved to be good for your health, but it also causes a smile on your face. It was about time to encourage Finns to hug more often, and more bravely.

Thus we decided to summon a big group of friends and colleagues in Kamppi. Sharing free hugs and wishing happy Valentine’s Day for people around was such a joyful experience! After a slight confusion, people were glad to give us a hug and have a little chit chat. We even got some passers-by to join our movement. Oh, the joy of seeing all the happy faces! Believe us, those smiles were spreading around the shopping mall faster than a viral cat video.

Our brand ambassadors were happy to join the Big Hugging Mission: Mia Eklund, an aspiring Finnish tennis player, and Pekka Hyysalo, an inspiring founder of FightBack, were also there to make the day.

JoyActor’s mission is to offer the best headphones and electronics to enrich the daily lives of our users. It’s equally important for us to set a responsible example for other companies. Deed by deed, we’re working towards our goal: We want to be the world’s most positive brand.

How to recognize a fellow JoyActor member? If you see someone smiling and wearing Joy’s headphones, you know what’s going on. How about giving that pal a little smile? Remember, a smile is the kind of renewable resource we can use as freely as we want! Getting a smile or a good deed from someone inspires us to do the same for others. That’s how anyone can make a difference.

The feedback we got from our partners and the passers-by was encouraging. After the day our legs were sore, but the smiles lingered on our faces. We knew that we’re doing something right.

And the myth? Busted. It’s about time to update the old stereotype.

More hugs, more smiles – more Joy.


Thanks for everyone who joined the event:

OP Helsinki, CityShoppari, DriveNow, Leader, Viking Line, Rush, Tennis Player Mia Eklund, FightBack Founder Pekka Hyysalo, old and new friends.

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