Teen idol tops Google's Swiss celeb list
Mentioning Luca Hänni, Bastian Baker or Kurt Felix may not mean anything to expats but they are household names in Switzerland, according to Google’s 2012 "Zeitgeist" list of search words for the country.
Hänni, 18, topped the hit parade of most searched Swiss celebrities according to information released by the internet company on Wednesday.
The Bern native caused a sensation on German TV in May when he became the youngest person to win the equivalent of that country’s “Idol” talent show at the age of 17.
His music has since topped the charts in both Switzerland and Germany.
Baker, 21, another pop singer, from Lausanne, ranked third on the list.
He gained fame in French-speaking Switzerland after performing last year at the Montreux Jazz Festival and recording his first album.
Kurt Felix, a well-known commentator on Swiss German-language TV, came fourth, with searches for his name peaking after he died of cancer in May at age of 71.
So who came second and fifth?
Philipp Hildebrand, the former Swiss National Bank chairman forced to step down in January over a foreign exchange trading controversy, came in second.
Hildebrand, 49, better known outside Switzerland perhaps than some of the other Swiss personalities, is currently vice-chairman of US-based BlackRock, reputed to be the world’s largest asset manager.
His wife, Kashya, who made a foreign exchange trade that benefited from a decision by the SNB to intervene in currency markets, was the fifth most searched Swiss personality.
The names trending upward the most in search traffic for Switzerland were headed by Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian daredevil who set a world record for skydiving in October.
Next were Whitney Houston, the American singer who died in February, Micaela Schäfer, a German model noted for posing in skimpy outfits, and Dirk Bach, a popular German TV comedian who died unexpectedly in October.
Fifth place went to a name Anglophones can relate to, Kate Middleton, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cambridge after her marriage to Britain’s Prince William last year.
Kate popped into the news internationally this year after a French magazine published topless pictures of her.
Her pregnancy and the related tragedy of a nurse at Kate’s hospital who committed suicide after unwittingly aiding an Australian radio hoax kept her name high in Google's Swiss search list.
Zalando, the German online fashion portal, headed the list of fastest trending general search inquiries in Switzerland, followed by RTS, the French-language public broadcaster, and Coop.ch, the cooperative retailer.
The list for the most searched car brand was headed by German motor giants Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen, followed by Hyundai, of South Korea.
The most searched mountains were Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, Gotthard, Rigi and Titlis.
The iconic Matterhorn, perhaps surprisingly, was only ranked seventh.
Meanwhile, when it came to music festivals, Interlaken’s Greenfield rock festival topped the list followed by the Paleo Festival of Nyon, in the canton of Vaud, and Bern’s Gurten Festival.
For fashion names, H&M was the most searched, ahead of La Redoute, Tally Weijl, Zara and Esprit.