Denner and Ese Agency: combating labor shortages with superhero comics

As the labor shortage worsens, Denner is taking an unconventional approach to personnel marketing. The retailer is turning store managers into superheroes with a comic booklet. Ese Agency is responsible for the idea, concept and implementation.

Switzerland is plagued by a mysterious phenomenon: workers are disappearing - just like that. In these gloomy times, employee loyalty becomes a ray of hope. Denner uses this comic premise to sensitize its managers in the stores to the sustainable treatment of employees. Because happy employees mean long-term success.

"You're a hero too!"

Making employees feel valued is a management task - and to ensure that awareness remains omnipresent, Ese Agency has created a playful measure: all store managers receive a personalized comic booklet in which they learn how the phenomenon of staff shortages can be combated. The name is emblazoned on the cover: "Susana & Denner: The Denner Heroes fight the skills shortage". But Elmira and Silvio and Driton and a good 630 other store managers also receive their own edition.

Denner wants to show appreciation for its managers and provide practical tips at the same time. "With the comic, we are speaking a fresh, modern and bold language that fits the brand. This strengthens identification and also communicates that we count on our employees," explains Jessica Stoffel, Head of HR Marketing at Denner.

The lovingly illustrated story about workers who inexplicably disappear is also a project close to Ese Art Director Severin Gamper's heart: "The comic theme was a perfect fit for our empowering message. As soon as the idea was born, I was on fire for the realization - as a big comic fan, I put in extra passion."

The heroic story is accompanied by a magazine that sets out the concrete measures to combat the labor shortage. The 2-in-1 brochure with 40 pages was created quickly: from the idea to the illustration, copywriting, layout and the printed end product in three languages.

Cooperation expands

The collaboration between Denner and Ese Agency began in 2020 with various projects such as the Sustainability campaign "All about the future" or the mobile game "Babyrace". After numerous projects in corporate and marketing communication, the young agency now also provides Denner with strategic and creative support in personnel marketing.

Responsible at Denner: Jessica Stoffel, Miriam Lübke. Responsible at Ese Agency: Elia Binelli (responsible agency), Elia Binelli, Severin Gamper, Damian Steffen (concept), Severin Gamper, Eleonora Trifunović, Rozalia Budimir, Damian Steffen (production).

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