The unthinkable happens in the very first episode: A SUISA invoice for background music flutters into the hairlounge “Two scissors” of Louis, the hairdresser. The hair artist hasn’t got a clue what this company called SUISA wants from him. Is this possibly a scam? Louis goes out on a venture to get answers.
That is the basis to the six-part SUISA webseires “Louis gets it! What really is behind SUISA.” In this series, SUISA shall be explained in a simple and entertaining manner. In the focal point is the slightly quirky hair stylist Louis, portrayed by Dominik Gysin, who is running his hairlounge in Berne. He had never heard of SUISA before and asks himself why they are sending him an invoice for the background music in his shop.
Louis is not alone – this happens to many others, particularly small enterprises in Switzerland. Each year, SUISA dispatches about 40,000 invoices to potential new customers. These are companies who play background music to entertain their customers or staff and require a licence from SUISA to do so. Many of these ocmpanies have never heard anything from SUISA – even though SUISA has been around for 100 years now.
Customers and musicians explain how SUISA works
For this reason, the idea came about to shoot a web series on the occasion of the SUISA centenary. The series’ concept and implementation were effected by Maybaum Film. What’s special about this series: It’s not staff members but customers and musicians that explain how SUISA works. The only exception is an episode that takes place in the SUISA headquarters. And so, several people, among them a concert promoter, a co-organiser of a village festival, music producers Henrik Amschler and musicians Marius Bear, Yvan Franel and the Geneva bands Stevans and Loco Escrito, explain to Louis what SUISA is all about, why you have to obtain a licence for the use of music outside your private circle of friends and family and have to pay licence fees,
One episode per week until the middle of June
The web series consists of a total of six episodes which are between three and five minutes long and are published weekly until the middle of June. In it, explainers are provided for topics such as concerts and other events, the various rights involved in the creation of (radio) commercials, the distribution of copyright fees via SUISA and background music in business premises.
The web series “Louis gets it!” also stands at the centre of the online campaign which is launched at the same time and is intended to bring SUISA nearer to (potential) customers and the public. The campaign is run by the Swiss agency for digital advertising, marketing and consulting Attackera. At the same time, it will be played on social media channels of SUISA on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The web series will be published on the SUISA centenary page www.suisa100.ch.
In the first episode of “What the SUISA!?”, Louis gets an invoice from SUISA because he plays background music in his hair salon. Louis had never heard of SUISA before and asks himself what this “rip off joint from Zurich” wants from him. Even when his customer Ueli who is a musician himself and portrayed by Daniel Lehmann of the Ländler-Trio Azale, explains to him that SUISA was a good thing, Louis is not to be placated. The whole thing smelt rotten to him.
His mum (portrayed by Elvira Plüss), immediately calls the SUISA customer service and discovers that, in fact, everything is legit: If a shop like Louis’ salon has music playing in the background, one has to acquire a SUISA licence and must also pay copyright licence fees for it. SUISA, the cooperative of authors and publishers of music collects them on behalf of the composers, lyricists and music publishers and distributes the collected money to those whose music is played. If you want to find out more about the SUISA licence for background music, you can access the respective information at www.suisa.ch/3a.