The lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic forced people to stay at home for some weeks. With each passing day, the need to leave the house for an extended period grew greater.

When the re-opening of cable cars, campsites and boat services on 6 June 2020 finally made bigger trips possible again, the Swiss tourism industry was able to embark on its longed-for restart. Switzerland Tourism ST launched then one of the biggest global marketing offensives of recent years. The new umbrella campaign under the banner “I need Switzerland.” was rolled out for the first time for the re-opening.

London’s iconic red buses wore ads for the new umbrella campaign in summer 2020, promoting Switzerland as a holiday destination.

Given that tourism had been grounded to a virtual halt for many weeks, ST concentrated for the summer on high visibility and opportunity to see. The initial focus was on the domestic market and selected short-haul markets. The “I need Switzerland.” launch film (see video above) could be seen across the country as part of an integrated campaign, on television and on all ST’s social media channels.

The motto was used again in autumn 2020.

The campaign created more than 300 million marketing contacts with the Swiss population, with everyone in the country seeing the slogan “I need Switzerland.” more than 40 times in summer 2020.

A core theme for all seasonal campaigns

The new umbrella campaign enables ST to move seamlessly from season to season. It is not just in the summer, but also in autumn and winter that “I need Switzerland.” The first part of the two-sentence slogan is adapted to the theme, subject, target group or season. The campaign can also draw on topical news stories or events, such as the shopping situation in the pandemic-hit year.

Pandemie Covid-19

The new umbrella campaign can also incorporate topical events, such as the experience of shopping during the pandemic, as shown here.

Brand building

The umbrella campaign is designed to run for several years and will play an important role in activities in the 22 markets in particular. This marks the start of an intensive process to strengthen brand positioning, with the emotional benefits of Switzerland as a holiday and travel destination.

“The new advertising slogan is also highly relevant in this age of coronavirus. It is highly emotionally laden, is applicable to the diverse array of experiences on offer and can be adapted to fit topical themes and concerns. It will be our regular companion in our international activities over the years ahead. Anyone looking for more than just a holiday needs Switzerland. Switzerland as a travel and holiday destination represents the ultimate in relaxation” explains ST’s Head of Marketing, André Hefti.

An interview with ST’s Head of Marketing André Hefti reveals why the whole tourism sector benefits from a strong destination brand.

Positive industry feedback, great media attention

The new umbrella campaign has been well received by visitors and ST’s partners from tourism and the wider business community. “As soon as a degree of normality returns, destinations around the world will go on the marketing offensive,” declared Martin Vincenz, CEO of Graubünden Ferien. “I am confident that with the clear message and strong positioning of the umbrella campaign, Switzerland will be visible as a destination and will remain in people’s memories despite the fierce competition.”

The unveiling of the new umbrella campaign resonated strongly with the Swiss media across the board, featuring in the likes of Blick, Luzerner Zeitung, Tele Basel, htr, Werbewoche, 20 Minuten and Radio Top(all in German). The Tages-Anzeiger cartoonist Felix Schaad covered the umbrella campaign, as did the SRF quiz show “1 gegen 100”, which asked contestants about the new ST umbrella campaign slogan.