Swiss Chalet celebrates 65 years with real stories

The restaurant chain is emphasizing the role it has played in the lives of Canadians.

Swiss_ChaletSwiss Chalet is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an integrated, homey campaign, which for the first time is telling a guest’s story to show the kinds of fond memories it’s created over such a long time in business.

In a new spot, a young family moves into their new home and as moving vans pull out of the driveway, friendly neighbours order Swiss chalet delivery for them and wave a welcome.

“It’s a new direction for us, as it’s rooted in true stories. We have not celebrated our actual guests before, and the stories they tell us,” says Carolyn Saunders, senior brand manager for Swiss Chalet.

According to Saunders, 65 is the most extensive anniversary celebration the brand has ever done, and wanted to use the occasion to reinforce the brand’s place in many Canadians’ lives over that time and create even more memories.

“As a brand, we bring a sense of comfort and home to Canadians, as many have grown up with us,” according to Saunders, who describes the brand as “the quintessential” Canadian family restaurant.

The new campaign includes a paid and owned digital campaign pushing people to a microsite, where it is hosting a contest offering 65 prizes of free Swiss Chalet dinners for a year to those who best “tell their Swiss story.” Saunders says she was surprised by the 80 submissions received on the first day the site opened the contest up to submissions.

The creative assets displayed on the site emphasize the time-saving aspect of choosing Swiss Chalet. The restaurant’s target is time-starved families, Saunders says, which has been a long-time key target for the brand, though is also looking to “celebrate” all families and emphasize its appeal across generations (Swiss Chalet has previously flirted with new design concepts and millennial-focused menu options to expand its appeal to younger generations who have a less-established affinity for the brand).

“We have been doing delivery before any of the aggregators ever existed,” Saunders says, referring to delivery apps like Foodora and SkipTheDishes. “What’s great about our brand is you can come home to our restaurants, or we can deliver to your home.”

On June 23rd, the brand is running a one-day only 65th birthday deal, offering an in-store $6.50 quarter chicken dinner, which Saunders expects will keep the restaurant very busy. The microsite and contest will run until Canada Day.

Upstream has been the brand’s AOR for two years, leading overall brand strategy and channel integration, while also creating all of their broadcast commercials.