Switzerland Tourism found a clever way to talk about how autumn visits to the country are a feast for the senses—by recruiting Scottish comedian Jamie MacDonald, who is blind, for a charming new spot.
Sound, touch, taste and smell are all highlights of the new ad, as McDonald and his companion Julia Sutherland explore the Swiss countryside. MacDonald is quietly amusing throughout, and toward the end adds a joke about his lack of sight. “It’s impossible to take a bad photo in Switzerland—it’s a blind photographer’s dream,” he says.
Worldwide Partners agency Metzger Rottmann Bürge (MRB), based in Zurich, created the new spot, which was directed by Jon Barber. The focus on autumn is part of a trend in Europe—as climate change is extending the visitor season, with warm days even as the nights grow chilly. (Hotel bookings in Switzerland were up almost 4% last fall compared to 2019.)
“Who can tell us more about senses than a senses expert?” said Silvan Metzger, partner at MRB. “We needed to get away from the typical testimonial or pretty-pictures campaign. Our collaboration with Jamie brought our awareness for our senses to a whole new level. Not because he’s blind but because he’s a funny guy who lives his life to the fullest and enjoyed sharing his experience with the Swiss autumn.”
The campaign is running in France, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K. on YouTube and Netflix. The full-length video will also run on Times Square billboards throughout the week of Oct. 16.