Swiss Army Tries To Tighten Its Ranks

Mullen Campaign Creates Single Image for Diverse Product Line
BOSTON–Mullen’s first advertising for Swiss Army Brands aims to build a single image for the client’s line of knives, sunglasses, pens and watches.
“[Swiss Army] was all over the place. We had to clear up the confusion and harness everything under one brand umbrella,” said George Rogers, Mullen’s senior vice president and group account director. Mullen designed a new, unifying logo for Swiss Army, which replaces three different insignias used on more than 20 watches and knives.
The print campaign breaks in May consumer magazines and introduces the tagline, “Swiss Army equipped.”
The $10 million campaign will consist of at least four print ads that have a military feel. One ad features a black-and-white photo of a ski hut at night, lit from within. “A Swiss patrol is prepared to overcome any situation. A fallen bridge, a crushing avalanche, a stubborn cork,” reads the headline. Swiss Army products are available to consumers “whether you need to battle a perilous blizzard or a tightly sealed bottle of vintage Pinot Noir,” the body copy continues.
A product-specific ad promotes the knife with the headline: “The Swiss never begin sentences with ‘If only I had a ‘ “
The campaign targets consumers with what Mullen senior art director Monica Taylor called the “Swiss Army mind-set”–passionate people who define themselves by their avocation.
While the Swiss Army knife dominates its category, the client is hoping to take on Ray-Ban and Tag-Heuer with its sunglasses and watches.
Swiss Army hired Mullen last fall after a review triggered by the arrival of vice president of marketing Jeff Turner, formerly of Mullen.
Swiss Army’s previous work from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston tried to leverage the knife’s popularity in ads for other products.