The execs at Swiss telecom provider Swisscom and agency Heimat wanted to find a unique way to cheer on the country’s athletes at this year’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. So they decided to write a giant love letter from fans—in the snow.
Robotic snow-blowers carved out a specially designed font and single-line artwork in the powder, with the messages drawn from fan submissions via Twitter, across an area the creators describe as equivalent to 16 football fields, and visible from up to two miles away.
The idea was to motivate Swiss competitors before their downhill runs at St. Moritz. With the country bringing home three gold, two silver and two bronze medals (second in total count for the 2017 games behind only Austria), Swisscom and Heimat are declaring the campaign an unqualified success (because while the winning sportsmen and sportswomen have undoubtedly devoted countless hours to grueling training regimens, it was clearly some upbeat snowfield artwork that led them to victory).
In a way, it’s a smaller-scale version of Hyundai’s “A Message to Space.”
To be fair, Swisscom-sponsored skier Wendy Holdener, who picked up a gold and a silver at the event, seems happy to jump on camera and sing the praises of the idea. “Seeing those messages gives you an extra boost,” she says. “Knowing that all those people stand behind you is priceless.”
Unbridled enthusiasm aside (the promo video also includes dramatic footage of someone plugging in an ethernet cable, while a making-of clip somewhat breathlessly describes the campaign as a “perfect marriage between technology and beauty of nature”), the resulting image is pretty cool.
It’s especially so when considering the logistical challenges of etching the image into a valley while leaving the negative space relatively unmarred—including the fact that nature is a fickle beast, with little concern for the advertising plans of men. Luckily, they seem to have dodged its wrath—at least this time.
Client: Swisscom (Schweiz) AG
Heimat, Berlin (Germany)
Heimat, Zürich (Switzerland)
Managing Director: Roman Jud
Digital Production: Unit9, London (United Kingdom)
Video Production: Who’s McQueen, Zürich (Switzerland)
Director: Humbert Entress
Creative Directors: Arne Stach, Malte Bülskämper
Account Director: Till Hopf
Account Manager: Kathrin Eiglsperger
Agency Producer: Alexander Münzer