By Malay Desai
From: Leo Burnett, Zurich
Two elderly men are shown ‘preparing’ various elements of a countryside, from trimming the grass, setting up picnic umbrellas, training St Bernards and even waxing chests of servicemen of a cruise. These efforts progress from tiny to complex, culminating in flagging off the cruise liner. ‘We do everything for your perfect summer holiday,’ the copy toward the end reads, before the Switzerland tourism logo.
Why we Like
And now, for the first time in this space, a tourism commercial and of what else but the usual suspect, Switzerland! Many believe that works from this category don’t have to do much to be outstanding as they are backed by stunning visuals and huge production costs. Few of them are clutter-breaking, and we’re playing this one on loop every morning to get through our unbearable summer.
The actors in this commercial, (retained through the campaign from the past two years or so) are not skimpy models or TV celebs, rather just a couple of ordinary-looking old men from the countryside (real peasants, the agency claims). Their beards, hats, ragged clothes and serious expressions add to the endearing actions that they do throughout the 90-seconder.
The ultra-cute factor of the ad is the series of well-thought, happinessinducing things that the duo does to give their guests a perfect experience. Exaggeration is the key here, and stuff such as smoothening stones, dipping ice sticks in coloured syrups, picking the right screw to fix under a boat and many others hilariously convey the ‘nothing more, nothing less’ policy of their hospitality. The treatment is spoton too, with a retro summer song in the background giving a total ‘Sound of Music’ feel; and the branding – the ‘red plus’ in this case appears discreetly too.
So to those who argue that production becomes easier with gushing meadows as locations and a tourism board’s purse, this campaign is evidence that clever thoughts and a consistent feel are more crucial. Last year, these two seniors were shown relishing the urbanities of Switzerland in a spot titled ‘Not just mountains’ while this spot was preceded by a teaser which announced that the two were returning home for some hard work!
The great Indian middle class is a big pie for tourism boards worldwide, and we’ve seen some so-so work from Australia, Canada among many others. Although it’s true that one Shah Rukh Khan song can get many times more business than the greatest tourism videos, this approach must be noted for boards that cannot afford him.