Roger Federer and Trevor Noah Take the Train for Swiss Tourism

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With Roger Federer's retirement, an annual fair-weather ritual—watching him compete at Wimbledon and in other Grand Slam events—has, sadly, bounced off the court for good (or whatever tennis wordplay you'd prefer). Luckily, another seasonal tradition remains intact, perhaps in perpetuity: The Maestro's highly-anticipated appearances in tourism ads for his native Switzerland.

First, he sparred with Robert De Niro, then joked around with Anne Hathaway. Both efforts placed among the best travel and sports-themed campaigns of their respective years (and possibly of all time).

For 2023, Rog returns with a new companion, Trevor Noah, who, as we all know, packs plenty of plucky, prickly personality. Plus, he's got more time for ads these days, presumably, having stepped away from the late-night TV grind last year.

Their comic chemistry cooks in a fresh, funny 4-minute film from agency Wirz Zurich and director Tom Hooper (an Oscar winner for The King's Speech).

Let's join the jestful gents for a scenic railway trip that starts woefully wrong, but works out oh so right:

So, the Swiss are obsessed with time. Who knew?

When Roger nods toward Trev and quips, "We're brothers from a different mother," it's LOL on a hall-of-fame scale, the adland line delivery of the year so far! (Dude says it to explain that he and Noah are both half-Swiss and half-South African.)

The commercial-within-a-commercial framework, though overdone by this client and many others, feels fine here because Federer and Noah make such a great team. And the writing's sharp. So's the casting and pacing. Ditto Hooper's relaxed, quasi-doc style and the crisp cinematography. To go full-on cliché: this stuff's aces all around.

Also, the focus on the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland adds novelty—and sublime alpine views (big surprise).

Did the 160 million combined views achieved by the previous two campaigns prove daunting as the team worked on this year's edition?

According to Wirz co-CEO Livio Dainese, such outrageous success provided potent inspiration. "We see the bar that we ourselves have set higher and higher in recent years as an incentive and are trying to raise it again," he says.

The initiative will run worldwide, with emphasis on the U.S. the U.K., Germany and select Asian markets.

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