The Zurich advertising agency Wirz AG had this poster set up in Germany’s capital Berlin.
«Nothing against Berlin. But you don’t seriously want to grow old here, do you?” That’s what the Zurich advertising agency Wirz AG wrote on a mobile billboard and had it set up for one day last week in front of the doors of the five largest advertising agencies in Germany’s capital.
With this provocative statement, the agency is trying to recruit young creative talent and lure them away to Zurich.
Under the hashtag “GoodByeGermany”, the agency writes on its recruitment website: “If you feel like jumping into a crystal-clear lake instead of catching a rare skin disease in the Spree […], We should get to know each other.” An action that offends.
“What is meant to be cheeky here comes across as arrogant”
«Young, wild, dirty. And all the other clichés. It’s a bit tiring, but also totally understandable if you only look at Berlin superficially,” notes a Berliner on Linkedin and says goodbye with “greetings from green, sedate and bourgeois Charlottenburg”.
And a Zurich native from the marketing industry also criticized the campaign by the advertising agency: “Nothing against Zurich. But what is meant to be cheeky here comes across as arrogant».
“Good advertising can offend and provoke”
That was not the intention behind the campaign, says Wirz creative director Caspar Heuss to Blick. The headline shouldn’t appear arrogant, but “is quite simply a life experience that has been put down on paper,” he explains.
“I lived in Berlin myself for almost ten years and I know how young creative people feel in this city.” As long as you’re young, you like the wild, the loud. “But very few people want to grow old,” he says. “So there’s a lot of truth in the headline.”
Many users can agree with that. «I don’t know anyone who is a bit older and still likes to live in Berlin. So it fits », is, for example, a comment on Linkedin. The mood is mostly amused.
Marketing expert Stefan Vogler also gave a positive assessment of the campaign. “Good advertising can offend and provoke,” he says to Blick. “Then she gets noticed and people talk about her. With bad advertising, nothing happens.” Since the advertising agency’s headline is intended to address people in the same industry, it could be a little more exaggerated. “For them, the campaign will certainly be different than for people from outside the industry,” says Vogler.
“For us, the campaign is a complete success”
And the marketing expert and the Wirz creative director agree on another thing: Germany is a very large and therefore very important market for the advertising industry. Berlin in particular is a magnet for young creative people. While it is difficult to find young talent in Zurich, according to creative director Heuss, Berlin is full to the brim. “That’s why this action was an attempt to fish in another pond, where maybe the more colorful fish swim.”
And some fish have already bitten. “Around 25 applications had arrived by noon yesterday, and we are expecting more applications,” says Caspar Heuss. “For us, the campaign is a complete success.”