Dress code: Freedom

Agency: SEK


Uplifting Pride pioneers: Zalando campaign continues to achieve amazing results.

The Zalando ”Dress code: Freedom” campaign celebrated Pride and won gold in SABRE Awards EMEA 2022, and got shortlisted at this year’s Gerety Awards. In the campaign Finnish Pride pioneers wore outfits they dreamed to wear back when dressing freely was a taboo.

For too many decades people in minority groups were shunned, called names, and criminalised. That’s why Zalando gave Pride pioneers a platform and shined spotlight on Finland’s LGBTQ+ activists during Pride 2021.

The stars of Zalando’s “Dress code: Freedom” campaign were human rights activists who fought for the rights of LGBTQ+ people at a time, when they could not fully express themselves and wear what wanted. Zalando gave them the opportunity to dress like they wanted to dress decades ago.

– Even today diversity is a hot topic in advertising: we’re not seeing enough people of all ages represented in advertising, especially when it comes to fashion. We had the chance to work with four wonderful human rights activists. The oldest face featured in the campaign was over 80 years old, the youngest over 60 years old, says  Annu Terho, SEK’s Creative Director.

About 50 years ago in Finland, homosexuality was struck off from the criminal code. Forty years ago, homosexuality was removed from the classification of diseases. And over 30 years ago the first Finnish LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, Helsinki Seta and the Pride community, were founded. As recent as eleven years ago cross-dressing was removed from the list of diseases in Finland.

– The world only changes when we change it. It’s so important to create campaigns that highlight freedom, such as everyone’s right to be who they are, says SEK’s Creative Director,  Heli Roiha.
Record results and multiple awards

The campaign has won gold in the 2022 SABRE Awards EMEA in the Nordics category. In addition to this, it gained victories from Finnish awards, such as Grand One 2022 and Vuoden Huiput, while still waiting for the end results of Gerety Awards. The Dress Code: Freedom also got shortlisted on Effie Finland and Voitto.

This professional campaign titled 'Dress code: Freedom' was published in Finland in June, 2022. It was created for the brand: Zalando, by ad agency: SEK. This Integrated medium campaign is related to the Fashion, Public Interest, and Retail Services industries and contains 5 media assets. It was submitted almost 2 years ago.


Creative Agency, design & execution: SEK
Video & Photo production: Simelius simelius
Influencer Collaborations: Miltton


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