Press release 27.11.2017
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Far from boring, this phenomenon that makes the mundane mindful is now going global.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is launching a slow-TV phenomenon, with a 12-hour-long livestream of unedited footage of the checkout counter of a supermarket.
The live footage of #checkout247 will be aired on ThisisFINLAND’s Facebook page starting December 5th at 2 pm GMT, on the eve of Finland’s 100th Independence Day, and ending at 2 am GMT on Independence Day itself. Thousands of shoppers are expected to pop into their local 24/7 supermarket for last-minute holiday treats.
The camera will be fixed on the conveyor belt of Prisma Kaari, the biggest supermarket in Helsinki, revealing what shoppers have put in their baskets, but not showing the shoppers themselves.
Viewers will be able to take part in the Finnish shopping experience by commenting on Finland’s official Facebook and Twitter channels (www.facebook.com/thisisfinlandFB/ and www.twitter.com/thisisFINLAND) using the hashtag #checkout247.
Slow TV has experienced a major renaissance in recent years, with films showing everything from knitting to log fires on TV or online streaming services.
“There’s something spellbinding about a conveyor belt and other people’s groceries,” says Petra Theman, Director of the Unit for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
“On the eve of Finland’s centenary, we wanted to create a moment of togetherness, a global broadcast open to participation from all over the world. At the same time we are revealing the glorious tedium of Finnish everyday life and eating habits. We claim that the everyday life in Finland is the best in the world, and that’s what we aim to show – this time through grocery shopping. This is mindfulness at its best and funniest.”
The supermarket concern S Group streamed similar footage of Finns shopping last summer. The livestream became an instant hit, with more than a million Facebook video views, including tens of thousands of comments during the live event, in a country of 5.5 million people.
This time around, viewers of the live #checkout247 broadcast will also see a rolling feed of quirky facts about Finnish food and lifestyle, provided by, among others, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners.
“Our customers loved the first livestream last summer, so we wanted to make our second run even bigger and better and reach a global audience,” says Anne Sassi-Leivonen, Director of Publishing at S Group.
Notes to editors