Tom of Finland is one of the most internationally well-known Finnish (hence the name) artists. He has not necessarily been that celebrated in Finland despite his international influence. Maybe it is because he specialized on quite niche art form. Tom of Finland was the most influential creator of gay pornographic images. I think it awesome that traditional Finnish textile manufacturer Finlayson has collaborated with Tom of Finland Foundation to bring some manly towels and other textile products to the people:
Some bigots might oppose this collaboration. Let them. The main challenge for brands is not that they upset people, but that no one cares about them. Brands get shaky when there is backlash, but seldom the people protesting are even using the products. Great brands do not try to appeal to everyone, but have tightly defined target audience. Great marketing strategy is not about expanding too broad, but about excluding to those, who matter. In addition to the upcoming “Tom of Finland” product range, Finlayson has another strong partner with their Moomin products: another crown jewel from Finland.
Gay audien ce is a lucrative target group, so it makes perfect sense for small Finnish player like Finlayson to focus on it. Also it would be quite narrow to think that Tom of Finland appeals only to gay audience. His macho men are part of popular culture and something every Finn should be proud of. The reaction from my peer group was overtly positive for the collaboration (both straight & gay). There will be also upcoming movie about him, so there is definitely momentum for Finlayson to build on.
Unfortunately in conjunction of release of “Tom of Finland”-products, the legal committee of Finnish parliament voted against same-sex marriage. That is a disgrace to Finland and keeps the country still firmly in Stone Age when it comes to equality. Finland is the only Nordic country without gender-neutral marriage. Shame on you, my beloved home country. Hopefully Finnish parliament will come to senses this autumn when they vote about it. Judging by the idiots voted there, I would not get my hopes too high.
To support international efforts of classic Finnish company, I definitely want to buy some of these new Finlayson products. I wonder does Finlayson ship to Singapore as well? And if it does, will the bed sheets able go through the customs in here?