reviving a loved brand

Silja Line is a loved brand in the Nordics. Taking a ferry between Helsinki and Stockholm is something basically every Finn has done at least once. However, the brand had become slightly worn in the recent years. After a merger with the Estonian Tallink Grupp, people were sceptical about the brands future. When the iconic seal logo was redesigned by the French TBWA in 2012, causing it to lose it's smile, people were outraged.

When the company announced that they were partially refurbishing their vessels in 2014, we were tasked with communicating this to their audience. We saw this as a chance to bring back some of the love lost.



The logo had been a loved brand asset. Therefore, we decided to use this as leverage. We decided to breathe some life into the brand by giving Harri the seal back his smile. We kicked off the campaign with a print of him smiling and talking about the reasons he had to smile. 

Liven things up a bit

Since the boats were still work in progress, we had to find a way to talk about the changes and features that had been renovated, without actually showing them. We gave the seal a personality and turned him into an animated character.


Time to meet the seal

Finally, we figured out that it was time for the audience to finally meet the seal. We wanted to create an installation that would serve as an impressive outdoor, an engaging stunt and a piece of shareable content. We took over a tram stop in the middle of the city, turning it into a cruise liner. Embedded in a billboard was an interactive screen, where people could engage with the seal in real time. The best interactions were rewarded with free cruises, printed from an embedded printer.


During the week, over 500 000 persons saw the outdoor promotion. We had hundreds of live interactions and gave over three hundred prizes to the most enthusiastic visitors. Many came to the tram stop just to meet Harri and people were even lining up to play with him. The seal became an instant hit also on social media. People were talking about him and sharing photos of him. Furthermore, in just three days the teaser film had over 69 000 views on YouTube. In total, Silja brought smiles to thousands of faces, starting with one happy seal.

On top of this, the client fell so much in love with the smiling seal that we started the campaign with, that they adopted it as their logo. Now, the seal smiles again, and for a good reason.


Role: Concept design, Art Direction, Pretending to be a seal
Agency: hasan & partners