"We need to move away from spreading campaigns to engaging with customers"

Peter Schäfer, Chief Strategy Officer at Wunderman Thompson Switzerland, answers our 13 questions.


1. Wie hat sich die Werbung verändert, seit Sie angefangen haben?

We need to get back to simple ideas.


2.  Das beste Testimonial, das es je gegeben hat?

For me, the best testimonial of all time is probably Henry Kissinger for The Economist. After watching the TV commercial, I often wondered what I could talk about with him as a seatmate on the plane.


3. Die beste Schweizer Kampagne aller Zeiten?

The Power of Flowers" campaign for Fleurop, 2007.


4. Fallen Sie auf Werbung herein?

Yeah, right! I have a very visual memory. That's why I've always been fascinated by visuals and art direction. And there are always campaign films that just blow me away, like Baz Luhrmann's films for Chanel and numerous campaign films for Nike, Gucci, Levi's, Balmain or Puma. If I were a creative, I would probably prefer to be an art director.


5. what do you see as the biggest challenge for advertising at the moment?

The difficulties in recruiting and retaining employees. Many different industries are looking for professionals with the same skills. Another challenge is employing staff with diverse backgrounds and a balanced gender ratio.


6. Hat das klassische Agentur-Modell langfristig eine Zukunft?

Yes, if we understand how to follow customer behavior and the consumer experience. The consumer experience is moving towards the digital world. So we need to achieve media integration. For this, we need a fundamental change in culture - away from the distribution of campaigns to dialogue with customers.


7. Was halten sie von Owned Media?

Both owned and shared media have gained a lot of relevance because of the dialogue qualities. Until five years ago, there was little talk of owned media in agencies.


8. Welche Printmedien haben Sie privat abonniert?

Some from the Anglo-Saxon-speaking world. The Economist and Vanity Fair UK are must-reads for me.


9. Wer war der amüsanteste Lunch-Partner, und weshalb?

I had the unique opportunity to interview Vivienne Westwood in 2002. She explained a lot about England, fashion and punk rock to me during the conversation. A long lasting friendship grew out of that. I called her a day ago and informed her that I would mention this.


10. Was halten Sie von Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is positive when brand and influencer share the same values and the influencer becomes a credible ambassador for a brand in the medium term. However, it is often noticeable that the price-performance ratio is not always quite right - which in turn is negative.


11. Haben Sie ein Vorbild?

As a native South African, I came into the world in a divided country. The end of apartheid and the reconciliation that followed meant a lot to me. We have Nelson Mandela to thank for this, and so he is a great role model for me.


12. Wofür würden Sie gratis arbeiten?

Animal welfare is very close to my heart. As the owner of a beagle, it always breaks my heart anew when I see how dogs and animals in general are mistreated in laboratories. That is why I have been active for NGOs, such as the Beagle Freedom Project, for years.


13. Welche fünf Tonträger würden Sie mit auf die einsame Insel nehmen?

Something between German classical music, British trip-hop, Miles Davis, Joy Division as well as deep house from my birthplace Johannesburg.

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