Bye-bye Berlin: Swiss ad tells Berliners to ditch their home for Zurich

Bye-bye Berlin: Swiss ad tells Berliners to ditch their home for Zurich

With the skills shortage in Switzerland worse than ever, a local advertising company has started its own cheeky campaign to drive recruitment in Berlin, prodding residents to ditch the city for Zurich while mocking the German capital in the process.

Swiss ad company bashes Berlin with campaign

A new ad campaign by a Swiss company, aiming to draw in graphic designers and employees in other jobs in creative fields to Zurich and Switzerland, has rocked up in Berlin ready to bash the city's living standards. The ad banner, created by Zurich agency Wirz, read: "Nichts gegen Berlin. Aber du willst doch nicht ernsthaft hier alt werden?" (“Nothing against Berlin: But you don't seriously want to grow old here?"). The banner itself was driven around the city for several days, including a stop right in front of one of the largest ad agencies in Berlin.

On the business's website - jokingly called - it says: “If you feel like jumping into a crystal-clear lake instead of catching a rare skin disease in the Spree... then we should definitely get in touch." To help seal the deal, the ad also notes that people in Switzerland are among the happiest in the world and that three of the most liveable cities in the world are in the alpine nation

It is safe to say that the cheeky advert hasn’t gone down well with some Berliners, with one user on LinkedIn commenting, “Nothing against Zurich. But what is supposed to be "cheeky" comes across as arrogant." Others also said that criticising Berlin as an unhealthy, hyper-expensive bohemian wasteland was not very original.

Berlin gets old, says Swiss ad creator

Responding to criticism from Berliners, the creative director of the Wirz agency, Casper Heuss, told Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten that the campaign was based on his own experience of living in the German city for 10 years. "It's wonderful when you're young. But at some point, you get too old for the whole circus," he noted. He concluded that the advertising campaign was a success, having already produced 25 applications.

Marketing expert Felix Murbach also praised the project, arguing that good advertising is polarising, daring and ultimately a bit cheeky. He said that it was unlikely that the advert would offend the residents of the German city as "after all, most people know that Berlin is a very beautiful city and that the statement should be understood with a wink."

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.

Thumb image credit: hanohiki /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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