INTERNATIONAL: WHAT’S HOT IN SWITZERLAND

The 1998 Year Book of the Swiss Art Directors’ Club has just been published. Apart from the many examples of award-winning work by Swiss advertising professionals, it also contains a number of authentic portraits of the housewives, farmers, cooks, schoolchildren, architects, social workers, nursery nurses, pensioners and entrepreneurs for whom the advertising was devised during 1997. So I sat down to think about what kind of advertising might have affected Swiss consumers most in recent months. All the campaigns that spontaneously occurred to me were from the same agency. But I thought that wasn’t possible in such a profoundly balanced and democratic country such as Switzerland. So I made a second attempt, this time leafing frantically through newspapers, magazines and professional journals. The result? The same, with one exception.

The 1998 Year Book of the Swiss Art Directors’ Club has just been

published. Apart from the many examples of award-winning work by Swiss

advertising professionals, it also contains a number of authentic

portraits of the housewives, farmers, cooks, schoolchildren, architects,

social workers, nursery nurses, pensioners and entrepreneurs for whom

the advertising was devised during 1997. So I sat down to think about

what kind of advertising might have affected Swiss consumers most in

recent months. All the campaigns that spontaneously occurred to me were

from the same agency. But I thought that wasn’t possible in such a

profoundly balanced and democratic country such as Switzerland. So I

made a second attempt, this time leafing frantically through newspapers,

magazines and professional journals. The result? The same, with one

exception.



The Smart - a car created by Mercedes-Benz in co-operation with Swatch -

had already become a talking point because of the two names having

linked up, long before the Smart factory had turned it into a campaign.

The follow-up print campaign, created by Weber, Hodel, Schmid,

incorporates the strapline ’reduce to the max’. We are curious to see

what they will do next to get tongues wagging.



It takes guts (and the right client, of course) to sell a campaign that

appears to work in contradiction to the advertiser’s actual raison

d’etre. For Swiss Tourism, you’d think the aim of the organisation would

be to attract masses of tourists to Switzerland. Weber, Hodel, Schmid,

the agency which created its campaign, has the guts - and is also right

- to portray Switzerland as a country where the low-budget tourist is

not made to feel simply one of a herd of tourists, but an individual who

is welcome to the country as a guest, and not just because of their

money. Anyone who has been on a package holiday to Switzerland will know

first-hand just how visionary this advertising push is.



Finally, I have chosen the women’s fashion brand, BIG. This is ready-to-

wear advertising from Guye & Partners, creating a poster campaign for a

store that specialises in fashion for the younger woman. It restricts

itself to showing a simple photograph of a piece of clothing that could

come from any store and giving it a headline that could only be for BIG.

It is simple and effective and makes you want to take the product home

by the bagfull.



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