Since the initialization in November 2011, the twitter account of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo (@FinEmbTokyo) has been growing into an important new information channel with its followers of over 66,000. The tweeter of the account is now called Fintan, named by Chikutakutan, the PR account of NHK (@NHK_PR). It may be no exaggeration to say that Fintan has been raised up by the followers.
However, since Fintan has been an avatar without a face, “Suomi-neito,” the national character of Finland has been appearing as an icon. This has gradually caused general misunderstanding that Suomi-neito is Fintan. The misconception led to an illustration competition opening on July 6th, 2012. By the deadline of July 20th, the embassy had received uncountable number of entries.
The requirement for the illustration was simple and straightforward; ”a male character which depicts the image of Finland.” It was not easy to choose the best illustration out of all the marvelous entries, yet the collaboration work done by visual director Kenji Itoso (@k_itoso) and TBS anchor Tomohiro Ishii was our most favorite one. Their Fintan is cuddly-looking and in lion suit, as lion is the national emblem of Finland.
Itoso is famous visual director and teaching at Osaka Seikei University and Waseda University. Ishii was formerly a tennis player and now anchoring at TBS. Ishii had seen our competition tweet by an accident and created Fintan together with his friend Itoso by sharing ideas and inspirations. Fintan by Itoso and Ishii will appear not only in twitter but also in other PR activities of the Embassy of Finland.
The champion work by Itoso and Ishii will be printed on mubichike, the advance ticket of Finland Film Festival 2012. The film festival will take place at Mediage in Daiba, Tokyo from September 15th (Sat) to September 21st (Fri). Complimentary tickets will be sent to the champions and prize-winners.