"The core of good communication will always be a good picture or film"

Simon Hofer, owner and creative director at Simonhofer Creative, answers our "13 questions".


1. the best book you've read recently?

"Who is good for you?" by Gabriel Palacios. It describes the diversity of us humans and gives tips and tricks,
how we can better maneuver through our social environment.


2. what can you not possibly do without?

To my wife Vivianne, tidiness and sport - and of course a cold beer after work.


3. what would you never advertise under any circumstances?

For Coca-Cola. The product is unhealthy, makes you sick and fat, is boring and unnecessary. I'd rather do advertising for exciting things, such as animal welfare organizations, extreme expedition providers or fitness centers.


4. what do you still want to achieve?

I want to become a father.


5. name a campaign that has recently caught your attention in a positive way - but was not created by you.

The advertising film for Tena Men by AMV BBDO London.


6. on the desert island there is a TV with a DVD player - which five movies do you take with you?

The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Inception, The Accountant and Inside Man by Spike Lee.


7. why do you not conform to the usual clichés of an advertiser?

I address topics that are not discussed in the industry. I prefer to work for SMEs rather than large corporations and submit few entries to awards. If you know you're doing good advertising, you don't have to constantly put yourself on the line.
A pat on the back. A satisfied customer is worth ten times more than an award.


8. the most important person in your professional career?

Bene Abegglen, former CD at Contexta. His direct and clear manner as well as his experience shaped my years of training and traveling at Berner Matte. The campaigns for Valser Wasser, Swiss Lotto, Ballantines International and many others that I was able to do as AD are still the motivation for my work today. I was at a lecture with Nadine Borter last week. As I stood in front of the old Contexta building with my Stromer, I felt a little wistful. I wish Nadine all the best, she is a courageous agency boss.


9. what was the best thing you have done in the last five years?

I have written a book and guidebook about the problems and solutions to mental health problems among creative people and artists. The book is unique worldwide and describes a topic that almost nobody dares to address. I earn great respect with this work and am also very proud of it. It is my greatest work, it took 44 years.


10. what was the best decision of your life?

That I never gave up fighting for a good cause - and that I stopped smoking 20 years ago.


11. if you could create a campaign with an unlimited budget that would reach large parts of the world - what would your message be?

Plant trees!


12 What is currently overestimated?

The digital revolution. Today's technical possibilities and channels are a great temptation, they contaminate
The food is a great help to people's ability to build relationships, causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain and damages creativity. My partner and I were in Alsace last year. On the way to the hotel, we had a fascinating discussion with the cab driver about the topic. He called the smartphone: "Ça, c'est le diable." The core of good communication will always be a good picture or a movie: AI will never be able to do this, I am inherently convinced of this as a living being.


13. do you have a role model?

Yes, on a personal level, my long-time psychiatrist and master Kurt Kunz. I owe a significant part of my current success and my health to him. He died three years ago. I try to pass on his knowledge and energy. When it comes to advertising, my role models are Markus Ruf and Danielle Lanz, who I consider to be the best advertisers in this country.

Simon Hofer is the grandson of Bernese advertising pioneer Max Hofer and was Art Director at Contexta from 2002 to 2004. The 44-year-old advertiser and author has been self-employed for 16 years and has positioned himself in Bern as "The Capital City Advertiser". He lives and works with his partner Vivianne Vinzens in Muri Castle near Bern.

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