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
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.