Switzerland has submitted more entries than ever before to the annual international advertising festival taking place this week in Cannes.
The number of Swiss entries has doubled since last year, with more than 250 television and cinema commercials and 120 posters. They're competing for numerous awards at what is the biggest rendezvous for marketing and advertising executives.
Switzerland spends around SFr6 billion a year on publicity, so it's an important event for the industry. As the organisers put it, the festival celebrates "the crème de la crème of creativity" in all the major media.
"Clients these days want more creativity," says the head of the Swiss delegation Matthias Luchsinger, who as general manager of CineCom & Media is a key figure in Swiss cinema advertising. "A few years ago the fashion was for short and very fast spots, especially ones aimed at young people. The trend now is to tell stories and have more time, so commercials are getting longer."
However, minimalism is what still sells in poster advertising, according to Frank Bodin, a Swiss member of the international jury for the press and poster competition: "If you throw three balls at a person he may catch none of them. If you throw one, the chance is very high that the person will catch it."
Bodin, an award-winning senior executive with the advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, added that charm was also important in selling a product by advertising it.
One of his own recent poster campaigns, on behalf of the Swiss federal railways, publicised intercity train services every half hour instead of hourly. "The train now goes to Zurich ever 30 minutes," said the caption to a photograph of five cows whose heads were blurred as they turned to watch an express go by.
by Richard Dawson