Roger Federer courts Robert De Niro on behalf of Tourism Switzerland in an amusingly meta ad from Wirz BBDO and director Martin Werner that quickly went viral after launching last week.
Tennis god Federer—he's won 20 major titles—calls two-time Academy Award winner De Niro and pitches ideas for a travel commercial. The Swiss icon's talkin' to you, Bobby! And Federer's concepts sound great. So scenic and soothing. So stop complaining already!
De Niro: "You've got your mountains, your ski resorts, your charming little towns, your green valleys. There's no drama. No drama at all! ... I'm a certain kind of actor. I need an edge—conflict jeopardy. Switzerland is just too perfect!"
Bob drops an F-bomb and suggests profanity would spice up a Swiss tourism commercial. (Fuck, yeah!) But Rog has his own script ideas.
Federer: "How about the two of us on this special mission? We ski down the slope..."
De Niro: "What? We're skiing down a slope together?"
Federer: "We go sky diving..."
De Niro: "Come on..."
Federer: "...then we land on these fields, and the cows are grazing..."
It's an offer the D-Man can readily refuse.
Some ad watchers have zinged Federer through the years for his wooden acting. (These are narrow-minded, self-important people cut by their middle-school tennis teams!) Here, however, Roger is perfectly cast and fires nothing but aces. De Niro's De Niro, cantankerous throughout, the perfect comic foil.
Both GOATs knowingly lampoon their respective good-guy/bad-ass images, generating 90 seconds of Alpine delight, capped off by a Tom Hanks joke. Burn! (Or, in this case, Bern!)
"No Drama" ranks among the top tourism ads in recent memory. It cannily communicates that as travel resumes worldwide, Switzerland offers charms to restore heart and soul after so much Covid drama.
"We wanted to find a story that allows us to bring across our undramatic message," Wirz BBDO creative chief Livio Dainese tells Muse. "So, we came up with the idea to partner gentleman sportsman Roger Federer with Robert de Niro, the godfather of dramatic movies. Fortunately, both loved the idea."
The team shot each star separately, "first Mr. De Niro in New York, and then Roger Federer in a beautiful chalet in the Swiss mountain village of Zermatt," Dainese says. "Roger and Robert talked about the whole film beforehand, of course. They also came up with their own ideas—as you can see when Mr. De Niro decided to wear his beautiful home office shorts." (Yeah, you can't unsee that.)
Federer proved to be quite down to earth, says Dainese.
"We were all busy preparing on the shooting day, and suddenly this guy appears and says, 'Hi, I'm Roger.' No 20 assistants, no limousine, no whatsoever. Roger just walked from his hotel room straight to the location. See, that's how safe it is in Switzerland!"
Indeed, no drama at all.
André Hefti (Marketing Director), Martin Pally (Marketing Manager), Dominic Stöcklin (Head of Social Media), Pascal Bloch (Visual Concept Manager), Daniela Chiani (Project Manager), Alexandra Weber (Head of Digital Marketing), Markus Berger (Head of Corporate Communications)
Livio Dainese, Alain Eicher, Johannes Raggio, Jannic Mascello, Elise Smidt, Elena Gabriel (Creation); Cosima Lang, Laura Saner (Storyline); Erasmo Palomba (Agency Producing); Simone Jehle, Janna Löhr (Consulting); Rahel Signer (Media Implementation); Pumpkin Film (Film Production); Sonja Brand (Executive Producer); Julia Illig (Producer); Nicolai Monberg (Edit); Martin Werner (Direction); Manuel Ruiz (NYC), Jan Mettler (CH) (Director of Photography); Ballad (Music and Sound design); Per Kasch (Photography); BaconX und Südlicht (Image Processing)