Meanwhile in San Francisco itself, we are doing something completely different. Our first message is to let the local market know that we are a Swiss airline now offering non-stop service to Zurich. Our credentials in this regard play an important role. For this reason we decided to refer to the Skytrax award as Best European Airline, which is important for us because it is a prestigious award backed up with a European seal of quality.
Our message to future American customers is that SWISS is closely tied to Switzerland and reflects the country in many ways. At the same time we’re also promoting such Swiss characteristics as tranquillity, calmness and high quality. We’re telling them that things here function just like a Swiss watch. We are making our presence known throughout the Bay Area through advertising, radio (click right to download), the internet and local print media. For outdoor advertising we have made sure that we are present in the streets that lead to corporate head offices for the likes of Roche, Google and Novartis. We also want to get the attention of Swiss expats who fly to Switzerland on holiday.
The chain of progress behind this communication campaign
It all starts with a rough idea of what we’re looking for. From that point, the focus is on practical aspects. For our poster in the USA, for example, we present the Matterhorn, clouds and our aircraft (see picture above). This image is a composite of three pictures. The photo of the Matterhorn was kindly made available to us by Switzerland Tourism. The clouds were purchased from a photo data base and the photo of the aircraft was one of our own. Putting the pieces together to create the image we wanted took a few days). There are quite a few steps to get through before the poster is printed and put on display in San Francisco. These are the steps involved: 1) develop idea with sketches, 2) the idea meets a positive response 3) photo shoot or image processing (as explained above), 4) the image is processed to make sure the colours are consistent when printed 5) headline and copy texts are created and translated into the required languages 6) work-in-progress is approval by my superiors; in the case of San Francisco the approval of our colleagues in the USA was also necessary 7) distribution to relevant media, printing shops 8) the poster goes on display
Our advertising presence in the Bay Area
We have put up posters and placed advertisements, and a few bus stops have been “SWISSified”. We are also present on cardboard coffee cup holders, of which 250,000 have been printed. These everyday items are being distributed at all coffee shops, except for those of the big chains, in the downtown area around Union Square and at the airport. In addition, we have an online campaign and agency and corporate newsletters. On top of that, our agents are visiting companies in person and giving away goodies such as copies of the Wallpaper city guide for Zurich, with special packaging containing our messages. And we have also had an attractive baggage tag made for Switzerland and the USA, plus model aircraft with the special livery. All these actions were developed together with other units at SWISS, such as Corporate Communications and Event Management, to name just two.