Robert De Niro thinks Switzerland is “too perfect,” which is why he refuses to make a tourism commercial to support the country. That’s the point he makes to tennis pro Roger Federer, who reaches out to the esteemed actor in a plea for him to appear in the ad—in an ad for Swiss Tourism.
The meta idea comes from Swiss agency Wirz BBDO. Shot last fall in Zermatt, Switzerland and New York by Martin Werner, it shows DeNiro and Federer bantering, via their phone screens, about the pros and cons of making the spot. While Federer is relaxing in the gorgeous surrounds of the Swiss Alps, De Niro calls him, palpably perturbed as he watches a mood film the athlete sent him.
“Look at where you are, Roger,” he says. “You’ve got your mountains, your ski resorts, your charming little towns, green valleys, there’s no drama! No drama at all!”
After Federer makes one last pitch that involves skiing, skydiving and cows, De Niro gives his final word. “It’s not happening,” he says. “Maybe call Hanks.” The endline reads, "When you need vacation without drama. You Need Switzerland."
Earlier this year, Federer became the official ambassador for Switzerland Tourism.“To be able to promote the country to which I owe so much and in which I still live fills me with pride,” he said in a statement.
“Switzerland Tourism and Roger Federer are the perfect match, because Roger has been recharging his batteries here all his life,” added André Hefti, Head of Marketing at Switzerland Tourism.
Federer also features in a website showcasing his picks for things to do in Switzerland. The spot will be running globally, and the campaign also includes digital billboards that appeared in London’s Piccadilly Square.