Espoo Birds flying high

The Espoo and wider Finnish economy received a new and unexpected boost when the Espoo Innovation Garden-based entertainment media company Rovio’s Angry Birds flew out into the world – and most recently to a cinema near you. In its coverage of the story, Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat rightly noted that, with the film, Rovio has established itself as a world-class studio. The film might not have been made in Finland but it is precisely that unique brand of fearlessness and innovative thinking so typical of Finland and Espoo that paved the way for this new style of project, generating new growth opportunities for Finland, and Rovio’s native city, along the way.

As Espoo’s Director for Economic and Business Development, I have watched the Angry Birds’ cinematic success with a mixture of pride and joy. The film was released to a hugely excited reception and children the world over are having great fun watching the birds and pigs’ outrageous exploits. The film flew to the top spot on the charts in the US, China and many other countries. What better way for Espoo to conquer the world?

In domestic Finnish terms, the film’s viewing figures are simply staggering. Rovio’s sizeable investment in the production, and the marketing in particular, has paid off and the film’s success will now open doors to further expansion.

In a bold move earlier this spring, the United Nations appointed Red, the Angry Birds Movie’s male lead, as an Honorary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness. Red’s appointment forms part of the UN’s #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet campaign, designed to promote the International Day of Happiness, observed in March each year, around the world and to encourage people to take action against climate change and its impacts.

Perhaps one day Espoo might adopt one of these furious feathered creatures as an ambassador for a good cause. The film’s growing popularity certainly makes it an attractive prospect. 

At Espoo, we are thrilled to be cheering on one of our own, as they reach for ever greater things on the global scene.

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