As early as November 2020, PAM was toying with the idea of launching its own vaccination campaign. However, as a sufficient supply of vaccine was still very unclear at that time, the agency owners Miro Pfister and Parvez Sheik Fareed waited. In the meantime, the situation looks somewhat better, but prejudices and misinformation still prevail against the Corona vaccination, although the vaccination is considered the most promising and fastest way back to normality. The sceptics and vaccination opponents are therefore in the focus of the the vaccination campaign launched on Sunday by PAM.
Homage to Swiss Life's turnaround campaign
The idea of SaveSwissLives came about because of the name Swiss Life. The turnaround campaign for Swiss Life provided the inspiration, as a corona disease can also be a turnaround in life. If it is severe, it can even be a bad turn.
The campaign is therefore a mischievous homage to the multiple award-winning turnaround campaign developed at the time by Spillmann/Felser/Leo Burnett, which is still one of the most popular Swiss campaigns today.
"We make no secret of the fact that SaveSwissLives would not even be possible without the original. That's why we deliberately stayed close to the original campaign so that it would be recognizable as such," explains Miro Pfister, co-owner and creative director at PAM Advertising.
Accordingly, various Corona turn phrases and an adapted subline dramatize the vaccination issue. The essential twist is resolved at the end via the campaign logo: SaveSwissLives. On the website save-swiss-lives.ch all subjects can be downloaded.
"We hope people will post and send the subjects on social media. We have more topical subjects in our quiver that we will publish as soon as the media context is given," says Pfister.
Crowdfunding to enable switching
To take the campaign nationwide, PAM has created a Crowdfunding on WeMakeIt started. The goal is 75,000 Swiss francs to realize a broad circuit.
Supporters will receive several rewards: Mention in campaign credits, a campaign subject featuring the donor's first name in the headline, and a designed limited-edition sweatshirt with "I'm Vaccinated" printed on it.
"Another velvet glove campaign would accomplish nothing"
PAM Advertising launches SaveSwissLives, a crowdfunded Corona vaccination campaign that doesn't mince words. Johannes Hapig asked the founders Miro Pfister and Parvez Sheik Fareed why their campaign is needed.
AdvertisingWeek.ch: Mr. Sheik Fareed, you would like to finance the launch of a vaccination campaign via crowdfunding. In your opinion, doesn't the current FOPH campaign make you want to take a prick in the upper arm?
Parvez Sheik Fareed: Not really. Although the FOPH campaign has a massive advertising push, which helps its visibility, its content lacks rousing persuasiveness. It smacks very much of committee culture at the client to promote internal peace, so that everyone feels picked up and covered. Probably not an easy job for Rod.
Mr Pfister, can you tell us a bit more about how you came up with the idea of launching such a campaign?
Miro Pfister: We were already toying with the idea of launching our own Corona vaccination campaign in November. Then the next question was what do we communicate? We found that calling a spade a spade and directly addressing the controversial issues surrounding vaccine skeptics would be most effective. Another velvet glove campaign wouldn't do any good.
Why is the campaign important to you personally?
Pfister: Apart from the simple fact that vaccination can save lives, such a campaign also helps the economy, which benefits society as a whole. Here, too, two or three projects were stopped, combined with a temporary drop in demand. And, of course, I simply wish that life would start again properly.
You took Swiss Life's reversible set campaign as inspiration. Why do the subjects fit so well with your new campaign?
Pfister: While we were poking around for ideas, the Swiss Life logo happened to come to mind. But don't ask me why. And then, with the addition of "Save", we came up with the statement "Save Swiss Lives". And that's what the Corona vaccination is all about. Of course, we then immediately thought of the famous turnaround sentences, which provided us with the jumping-off point. After all, a Corona disease can also be a turning point in one's life, and if it is severe, it can even be a bad one. We make no secret of the fact that SaveSwissLives would not be possible without the original. That's why we deliberately stayed close to the original, so that it can be recognized as such - a mischievous homage to Spillmann/Felser/Leo Burnett.
Sheik Fareed: By the way, our pension funds are with Swiss Life. If SwissLife would like to support the SaveSwissLives campaign, we would be delighted to receive a financial injection.
With this campaign, you are tackling a topic that is controversially received by parts of society. Are you worried about the possible backlash from the so-called "vaccination sceptics"?
Sheik Fareed: No, not at all. It is simply a reality that from these circles sometimes quite hair-raising things are presented as facts. You can make that a topic of discussion.
Do you think more agencies should come out of the woodwork when it comes to important issues - and launch campaigns that are more a matter of the heart than of client interest?
Sheik Fareed: That's something every agency has to decide for itself. But agencies would certainly be well advised to generally venture out of the woodwork, especially when it comes to client orders.
Pfister: It's also not a question of customer interest versus heart matter, you can easily do both. Personally, I find advertisers a bit strange who prefer to promote only social causes and turn up their noses at commercial communication.