If I remember correctly, the word ’hot’ in English not only relates
to temperature but is also used to describe the affects of pepper and
paprika. But it doesn’t matter whether you examine German advertising
with a thermometer or tongue - the results will be the same. What is
served up here is more in the line of cold cuts, or diet food for people
with kidney problems.
The exemptions come from other countries, such as the campaign made in
Amsterdam by Wieden & Kennedy for the Hypo Vereinsbank.
Or like the Ikea commercials and the Stilwerk ads from the kitchens of
small agencies such as Grabarz & Partners and Jung von Matt am Main - a
young branch of the same Hamburg agency.
The heartwarming thing about the Hypo Vereinsbank campaign is how it
directly portrays a fundamental insight. A bank is there to take care of
its clients’ money, so that they can take care of more important
Namely to enjoy life.
Everyone can identify themselves not only with this message but also
with the people in the ads.
The woman behind the flowers could have my face. Assuming I was a woman,
of course. The pictures are exciting, especially because you cannot see
The layout is clear and simple. And the language is human, without any
bank jargon. Also, the term ’custom-made’ is thankfully absent.
I was fascinated with the Stilwerk campaign because it impressed me with
a simple analogy and in an intelligent way which gave me cause for
To understand this simple analogy, one must know that Stilwerk is a
collection of different furnishing houses under one roof, each having
The only blip is that the typography in the ads could be better.
The Ikea commercials get their pep (a German word which comes from the
English word ’pepper’) from mocking the family morals of the 50s, when
the sexual activities of teenagers took place behind closed doors which
were kept shut by shoving furniture in front of them.
The ad is shot in the style of the typical American soap operas of the
early TV years. It starts with the title, ’Living with your parents’,
and the sub-title, ’Lesson 1’.
The story that follows is simple. Mother and father are sitting eating
breakfast in the kitchen. The fat son comes home (obviously after a long
night) and disappears into his room.
Here, the voiceover points out that he now only has to push a heavy
piece of furniture in front of the door in order to be protected against
the inconvenience of unexpected parental visits. This is an entertaining
and surprising way in which to set the Ikea range.