helsinki, now available for demo…

Helsinki, Finland has just relaunched as the world’s first “city as a service”.

Ok, not really, but it’s how the city is pitching itself in order to woo tech talent to move there.

Per TrendWatching – “Finnish capital Helsinki launched a lighthearted campaign called City as a Service in an attempt to attract new tech talent. A platform and video pitches the CaaS to viewers, explaining that Helsinki has ‘over 640,000 daily active users’ and boasts an ‘API’ that supports excellent healthcare and public transport. Meanwhile, the city’s Mayor – billed as the CEO – explains that the winter darkness and flat skyline are not technical bugs but ‘carefully considered features’. Visitors to the platform are encouraged to apply for a ‘free demo trip’; 15 people will be chosen for a free trip to Helsinki in November.”

Apply for your free demo here.

And if you’re interested in the Freemium model, it boasts features like:

> Surprisingly ok beaches
> Drink the famous Finnish tap water
> Dip in a hole in ice
> Santa Claus lives only a 14h drive away
> Highest density of heavy metal bands in the world

Why It’s Hot:

Unexpected delivery is one of the best ways to catch attention. Marry that with the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the language and world of your target, and you can make magic that creates compelling connections. Whether or not it works, it shows Helsinki cares about the people it’s talking to, and respects them enough to go beyond the rational RTBs (although it has those too) to drive an extremely emotional decision of where to live.

Job recruiting with VR: an ethical question

We have on our hands a moral dilemma. Companies are increasingly using VR to train employees (see: KFC, Walmart, US Navy) – and now companies are beginning to explore VR as a recruitment tactic.

But what if the VR experience outshines the reality of the real job? Wired writes:

“To be sure, all recruiting and training materials, including traditional video, tend to accentuate the positive. But the immersive nature of VR means that it can make a stronger, more lasting impression on recruits and employees. “The idea is immersing your future employee in the job,” says Tuong H. Nguyen, a principal research analyst at IT advisory firm Gartner. VR “provides a more dynamic view of what the job is like.” He compares the experience to the difference between reading about or seeing a film of a sunset and seeing a sunset first-hand.”

Why it’s hot:

VR is obviously one of many shiny objects recruiters can use to attract and engage prospective and current employees. Plus, national or global firms who recruit talent from far and wide can use VR experiences to give potential employees a better sense of environments and situations they may experience on the ground, building confidence and interest. But what duties to recruiters have to show the reality, however virtual it may be, without misleading candidates?

Oregon’s Bid To Attract Its ‘Next Class of Innovators’

There’s a lot of competition among colleges and universities to get on the consideration set of prospective students. They’ve got to break through the clutter, pique attention and connect with students in relevant and meaningful ways. Prospective students are looking for the full college experience and want to join an engaged community that provides a breadth of opportunities.

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The University of Oregon has developed creative, engaging and (in some cases) sharable content to make the exploration, application and acceptance process more exciting for prospective students, with the end goals of earning their application and stimulating additional interest among circles of friends through word of mouth.

The content includes a mailed “answers” deck of cards which includes answers about the university in order to entice students to apply. Then, applicants were sent an Oregon poster and flag, with encouragement to engage in an online community just for prospective students, as well as “A Duck Like These” kits, which featured success stories of alumni who graduated as recently as last year to as long as 50 years ago.

Why it’s hot: The ideas aren’t groundbreaking, in general, but as students receive a flood of university brochures and emails during their junior and senior years of high school, these efforts will help the University of Oregon to stand apart. Not only is it clear to prospective students that the university is going the extra mile to earn their consideration, but the collateral really showcases the university’s personality and culture, which helps them to attract the type of students who will strengthen that culture. Last, by distributing loudly branded items and encouraging social interaction, they’re capitalizing on students’ excitement about the next chapter in their lives to get the word out to next year’s applicants. A little inspiration for those of us who work in education!