Apple’s App Store for the iPhone has been a tremendous success and has changed the mobile landscape forever. But as with most revolutions, not everything is working as smoothly as anticipated. The process to get an app approved for distribution in the store leaves something to be desired; it can take a long time and lacks transparency. So when Sweden’s largest television station SVT wanted to release an app for their hugely popular free tv-on-demand service “SVT Play”, they were unsure how long the process might take. To help out, SVT’s ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors contacted Fi with an idea and together we set out to shake things up.

The plan was simple: get Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs to say “JA” (Swedish for yes) and get the app approved. To make this happen, first we built a site - - to inform Steve about our mission and persuade him to grant Apple’s approval. All he has to do is to click the giant “JA” button, look into his webcam and say a loud & clear “JA” (pronounced “yaa”).

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Persuading Steve isn’t easy, so to gather help from all the anxious Swedes out there who can’t wait to get their hands on the app, we have provided them with a set of tools to let Steve know that he should say “JA”. The tools utilize the power of social media to spread our message. Fire away a tweet, ping your blog post, update your Facebook status; straight from the site. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to let Steve (and the rest of the world) know that every day spent waiting for the app’s approval is a day too long.

Fi also built a module for the visitors to record a message through their webcam and publish straight to YouTube ‒ to show Steve how you say “JA” in the best possible way. All the clips are then made available on the site. Together with a small voting component, all these elements are tallied up in a big counter to show Steve how much we really want him to approve the app. This is then wrapped in a fun “activist” design to appeal to the Swedish public.

But that is not enough. We need to make sure Steve knows about the site and there is only one sure way to do that ‒ someone needs to go to Apple in California and tell him. So with some local collaboration from the design agency Knack Design we armed a group of Swedish activists (sent over by F&B) with picket signs, iPhone costumes, banners, folk dresses, flyers and a determination to get the app approved.

The team is now placed outside the main entrance to Apple’s campus at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, telling anyone who passes by how important it is that Steve says “JA”. We have also set up a mobile streaming station that is fully integrated with the site, so visitors can check out any developments and follow our group’s efforts in real time.

So stay tuned and follow the drama to see if the app gets approved. Once the campaign is over we will provide you with more details and the inside track on what happened.


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Release Date
December 16, 2009


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