Welcome to Obermutten- a small village described on Wikipedia as “part of the municipality Mutten in the district of Albula in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland”, so for those of you not from Switzerland, a rather meaningless, distant kind of place. Yet a place with a population of 79 and a staggering 12,000 fans on Facebook. The reason? Jung von Matt genius and a lot of print outs and pins.
To raise the profile of village and attract some till-friendly, spendaholic tourists, Obermutten council (that exclusive minority) turned to ad agency Jung von Matt for help with 10,000 Swiss Francs. The answer was a unique combination of Obermutten’s community feel and some Facebook loving – the campaign promised every Facebook fan of Obermutten a place of prominence in the village – their photo printed out on the village’s notice board (and now, less glamorously, the sides of barns as town centre space overflowed). Thus began the start of something big, as the idea of appearing in some far off mountain village captivated the online community – the “Facebook wall” with its “posts” and “profile pictures” transformed into a physical reality and the ultimate town hommage. I assume that the mayor of Obermutten is one proud man surrounded by his thousands of town fans, their pages fluttering in the wind, and the sound of printers – a constant 24 hour drone. The story of Obermutten has apparently appeared in the media in over twenty countries, including the main news programme in South Korea.
The campaign cleverly taps into that human longing to be both part of something and appear in print. Although, as as AdWeek notes, you would have to be really keen to go and see your picture in Obermutten in person because unlike Facebook, a tiny Swiss mountain is not that well connected, and largely thanks to sites like Facebook – it all seems a bit of an effort, when you can see it online (see Google maps for details).
p.s. I pressed the like button.