Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Switzerland Tourism Fools Me

As I read the Tages Anzeiger this morning, I came upon an article with the headline “Felsenputzer entgernen Vogeldreck.” I wasn’t 100% sure what this meant, and as I read the article, I discovered it was something about the Swiss scrubbing their mountains clean.

This wouldn’t surprise me.

At work, I looked up the words and asked my colleague to confirm what I now found utterly amazing.

“Yes. It says they are cleaning bird shit off the mountains,” he said.

Well. Since the Swiss scrub trash cans at public transport hubs, clean my street every morning, and even have a police force to deal with people disobeying trash laws, the whole bird poop thing didn’t actually seem that strange.

Then my colleague pointed to the date above the article—April 1.

“It must be a joke,” he said.

No! I really wanted it to be true. I looked further for clues.

Further back in the paper was a job advertisement from Swiss Tourism looking for “bird shit cleaners”. This got me to their website where I discovered the most interesting and interactive advertising campaign I have seen in my three years in Switzerland. And it was launched on April Fool’s Day no less. Brilliant. It’s like the Swiss are actually making fun of themselves. Is this possible?

There’s even a YouTube video and contest on the MySwitzerland website of the Swiss crew going out to clean the bird shit off the Alps.

Awesome. I love it. It’s one of those rare moments when I can look at a Swiss ad campaign and say, “I wish I had done that.”


Amanda said...

Wait. So it's real? Not a joke?

Amanda said...

Um, just watched the video - hilarious! Thanks for posting this. Now that I know the Swiss can make fun of themselves, I love it here even more!

Chantal said...

Yeah, me too! Couldn't believe it. But it's real.

Young Traveler said...

God, I hope this Swiss are making fun of themselves. Otherwise it's just really, really funny (and kind of sad).

Chantal said...

Hmm. That's a good point. Maybe they have no idea what they are doing since in my experience all sarcasm is lost on them. Still, I like to think it was planned to save them the grief.

Amanda said...

Sorry to bombard the comments, but in addition to posting the video on my facebook page, I just noticed that the video (in German) is the featured "sponsor" on my home page. Ha!

Amanda said...

OK, one last thing and I will let the joke die. I did take the "aptitude test" to sign up to be a mountain pooh cleaner and I got a little e-mail yesterday saying "Glad you enjoy a good joke!" The pure genius of it all is that it's not so far fetched to believe that the Swiss would have such a team. I am sure I am not the only one who signed up out of curiosity...

Chantal said...

Yeah, I did the quiz too. I was a little disappointed that they had to tell me it was a joke. I think people would have figured it out.

wilbo43 said...

I told you on another post that the Swiss HAVE a sense of humour, well THIS IS IT. Now why wasn't I surprised that a lot of your blogging friends thought this was real? Americans, perhaps?


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