Mystery at the Oslo Plaza
2018 Finalist

Mystery at the Oslo Plaza


Oslo, Norway

Category Best Use of New Technology To Generate Revenue and Engage

Overview of this campaign

By working closely with the Oslo police, VG wanted to reopen the investigation and get new answers in the search the womans identity.

We also hoped that the collective force of the Norwegian and European public, would help us and the police in getting new viewpoints and insight into traces like her clothes, watch, appearance etc.

With the hotel room being an essential part of the mystery, we pinpointed the need to let the users explore this in the best way possible as an important storytelling tool. Our designers and developers therefore created a detailed 3D model.

Our goals:

  • Use new and relevant tools for digital storytelling
  • Facilitate for increased traffic and revenue across different products (open and subscription based)
  • Increase engagement and awareness of this compelling mystery case

Results for this campaign

In collaboration with the police, VG succeeded in reopening this case. After VG’s initiative, an exhumation was conducted. The remains were examined, which resulted in retrieving a full DNA profile. During the first few days we received hundreds of online comments, with questions and relevant input, as well as reader’s personal correspondence with the journalist on specific observations.

By channeling the material on different platforms, we were able to publish an interactive story on our news site, as well as a longread in our subscription product. Within the first week the open version had been viewed more than 1.5 million times (in a country with 5.2 million people):

The TV documentary had close to 600.000 viewers, and was also available on linear TV.

The longread content for our subscribers ended up as the most popular in 2017, with an all-time high reading time. It was also among the top 1 percent for converting readers into subscribers during the calendar year. A special longread developed uniquely for Snapchat with 12 different panels, also reached record-high reading time for this format.

International media have shown interest for the story, which so far has been published in six different languages (Norwegian, English, French, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish), with more languages to follow.

With the forensic material from the exhumation, new scientific investigations were conducted, using groundbreaking new technologies - never before used in criminal investigations in Norway. These investigations have given us new information about the dead woman’s heritage and age. Some of these results have not yet been published. VG’s work on the story continues.


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory