“Fantastic video”, “The team who worked on this video did a great job”, “Honestly this is one of the best travel ads I’ve ever seen”, “The GOAT and the GOAT have spoken. Go to Switzerland”: the reactions of YouTube users to the short film starring Roger Federer and Robert De Niro tell their own story. There was also a lot of praise from the industry and from politicians. “A great job!”, declared Bernt Maulaz of HotellerieSuisse, while Urs Widmer of SECO called it “Oscar-worthy!” Switzerland Tourism ST used the short film “No Drama” to further advance the marketing campaign that began with the announcement of Roger Federer as ST’s new brand ambassador in April 2021.

Roger Federer helps ST achieve its most successful film ever

The short film was released on social media and quickly went viral. With more than 52 million views on YouTube alone, it is ST’s most successful film to date. The orchestrated media relations work at the 34 international offices around the globe further expanded its reach, helping Switzerland to stand out from the international competition as a holiday destination. The film was discussed in 440 media stories worldwide, including in Forbes, New York Times and Condé Nast Traveller, plus key media in Switzerland such as NZZ, Tages-Anzeiger, Blick, 24heures and Swiss television (French-speaking, German-speaking and Ticino regions). In all, the film triggered 463 million media contacts – a record for ST.

A self-mocking clip: Robert De Niro on this boringly perfect country

Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is seen on a call, turning down an invitation from Roger Federer to collaborate on a film project about Switzerland. As André Hefti, Head of Marketing & Productions at ST, explains, “Everything started from the strong partnership with Roger. These days, however, even having a star on board is no longer a guarantee that people will voluntarily watch an advert. The idea that our partner agency Wirz came up with – a self-mocking clip about our boringly perfect country – plus the smart dissemination by the media specialists at Sir Mary was definitely the right recipe. It truly enabled us to grab the attention of an international audience for Switzerland as a holiday destination.”  

Advertising industry recognition

For Roger Federer, working with the two-time Oscar winner was a once-in-a-lifetime experience: “I have admired Robert De Niro’s work for a long time, but I wasn’t sure whether he would agree to take part in our project. I am delighted that it actually worked out.” The film was shot (German only) in autumn 2020 in Zermatt and New York. Advertising industry recognition soon followed: the video made it onto the Cannes Lions top 10 YouTube ads, a list of the most-watched ads. No Swiss advert had ever achieved that before. ST also won several awards, including the Marketing Excellence Award 21 in the SME category and Gold at the Edi Swiss advertising and commissioned film awards.