Freia: Sweet On Social Media

In Norway on June 18, 2011 by Katherine Hutton Tagged: , ,

Whether on a warm summer afternoon or a cold winter evening, chocolate is a go-to, comforting treat. Norwegians know all about that, being one of the largest buyers of chocolate, consuming 21.6 pounds per capita in 2008.

Each country seems to have its own iconic brand: the United States and Hershey’s (after all, there’s an entire theme park), Great Britain and Cadbury, Switzerland and Lindt. For Norway, it’s Freia.

Founded in 1906, Freia is the number one brand of chocolate bars in Norway. It comes in a number of different forms that are similar to a Kit Kat bar (Kvikk Lunsj), a Hershey’s bar (Freia Melkesjokolade), and M&Ms (Non Stop). However, the company still has competition from other chocolate companies, both Norwegian and international. So what’s the best way to convince the public that they should buy the favorite Norwegian chocolate?

Capitalize on that Norwegian pride.

In the 19th century, a movement called romantic nationalism was devoted to invigorating pride in Norwegian culture. A number of people went around the country to collect artifacts that defined an identity for the Norwegians, who, throughout most of their history, had been governed as a Danish province or ruled under a Swedish sovereign.

Since 1980, Freia has capitalized on that national pride by using the slogan, ‘Et lite stykke Norge’ meaning ‘A little piece of Norway.’ Its ad campaigns have used pastoral Norwegian settings as the backdrop for its advertisements. While that theme is still useful, it’s no longer 1980 and traditional advertising is no longer the best way to market to its audience.

Freia has gone online; it has a separate Facebook page for each of its products, which is a good first step. The company encourages consumers to share their interest in its products, creating a dialogue. Being so tech-savvy, Norwegians, particularly the younger generation, have a positive perception of companies with an online presence.

But Freia needed more than just a simple Facebook page to keep up with the rest of the market. It therefore created a new online campaign in 2011 on its website: a game where the prize is actually a little piece of Norway. The winner will receive 500,000 Norwegian Kroner (90,396 USD)  to purchase a property in Norway.

An actual little piece of Norway from the game

The campaign runs through the end of the year, when a winner will be chosen December 1st. A person must register an account on the website in order to be entered into the contest. The website also connects back to Facebook, so a user can see what others have chosen as their spots of Norway. Judging by the hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’ on its Facebook pages, the campaign is seeing some success so far this year.

This campaign is a great example of connecting Norwegian national pride, Freia chocolate sales, and current social media tools. Freia is using this game to increase its visibility as a Norwegian product and further identify itself as the leading chocolate brand in Norway.

One Response to “Freia: Sweet On Social Media”

  1. What a brilliant campaign and great find to write about this week! You have great research to point to not only the importance of social media and digital in Norway, but also the pride that the Norwegians feel about this brand and how beloved chocolate is (as it should be!). The only thing that could have made this stronger is a few more links in the middle of your post around this idea of “romantic nationalism” and where the reader could learn more about it. The term was one that I found intriguing and was interested in learning more about, but I missed the link to take me there. Other than that, good post this week. If only we lived in an area where $90k would be enough to buy any kind of property larger than a sandbox … 😉 (5)

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