Swiss Chalet keeps it real this Festive season

Who: Recipe Unlimited Corp.’s Swiss Chalet brand, with Mint for strategy and creative. Media handled in-house.

What: A new ad for the holidays promoting Swiss Chalet’s “Give-a-Gift” feature using the brand’s website or app. It is Mint’s first work for the casual dining chain after winning a recent pitch.

When & Where: The digital only ad is running through Dec. 25.

Why: For years, Swiss Chalet has put the Festive Special at the centre of its holiday marketing. Last year, it had to come up with a way to promote the special at a time when many people couldn’t share a meal with family, and opted for delivery over dining in.

Swiss Chalet brought back that TV ad this year, but also asked Mint to do something more than just promote the annual special. “This holiday bookends another difficult year for Canadians,” said Kim Tarlo, partner and executive creator director at Mint. “So for the holidays, Swiss Chalet wanted to go beyond a simple food promotion online for their iconic Festive Special and step up to remind Canadians of the joy that exists because of the givers in our lives.”

How: The idea for the ad arose out of the insight that many people know someone who gives a little extra to make the holidays special. The ad uses real-life, crowd-sourced video content of different kinds of “givers”—night shift, cheer, kitchen duty, and tree chopper—as the important people behind the special holiday moments, and worthy of a Festive Special to thank them for all they do.

Rather than picture-perfect vignettes, Mint wanted real people in real moments, “who not only know how important our time together is, but who go beyond to make that time joyful, no matter how messy life is,” said Tarlo. “We see it throughout Canadians’ social [feeds] during the season, so it was important for Swiss to reflect that in their digital work too.”

According to Mint, the user-generated video provides a “nod to nostalgia, pays tribute to Swiss Chalet’s heritage, and illustrates authentic holiday moments in a relatable and playful manner.” The spot closes with a narrator inviting viewers to “give back to the givers” by gifting the Festive Special using either the app or website.

And we quote: “We want our guests to associate generosity, joy and kindness with Swiss Chalet, and feel inspired to Give a Gift of Swiss Chalet by using our mobile app and website,” said Swiss Chalet’s vice-president ofmarketing, Laurie Allison-Jones. “Last year, the holidays looked different for many Canadian families. And our hope is this year, when they choose to show their appreciation to those they love most, they think of Swiss Chalet as an easy way to express gratitude and adoration.”

David Brown