Welcome to news from the land where the railways work, the
pavements are clean and Beckenbauer's sons prepare to take the football
crown from the French. Ohh, you really want to read something new? OK,
so let's bin a couple of prejudices right here.
1. German football is so dominant because they play it so beautifully
Last week Germany lost its fourth qualifying place for the Champions
League. Simply because German teams didn't win enough. Which proves: all
that glitters isn't gold anymore.
2. German ads are weak because they seek to inform, not entertain.
I'd like to introduce you to a few German commercials from the recent
months, some of which were highly awarded at the Art Directors' Club von
Deutschland last weekend, which hopefully will convince you that all
that gets gold there isn't crap.
In the first we see a class of young pupils. Their teacher asks them:
'What do you want to become?' Then we hear the typical answers from the
boys and girls: astronaut, archaeologist, ballet dancer ...
While we hear the answers we see one of the boys daydreaming and looking
out of the window. He sees the new Coupe from Mercedes-Benz, a man
getting in and driving off. The dreamer doesn't notice that the teacher
is asking him repeatedly what he wants to become. When he suddenly
realises, he turns and smiling at her, says: 'Eighteen!'
For me, this is a simple plot based on a simple human truth. (Yes, they
build a couple of excellent cars in the heart of Europe. Still
Just as simple, but for an American invention is the following. A
locked-off camera focuses on the face of a young man who has just sat
down in a dentist's chair. The dentist's assistant places the 'saliva
sucker' in his mouth and we immediately hear its slurping sound. The
dentist comes in, prepares to start work and casually asks his
assistant: 'By the way Gabriele, what are your plans for lunch today?'
She answers, 'I'm not sure, maybe I'll go to McDonald's.' Immediately
the slurping sound of the saliva sucker gets very loud.
Back on the road again. We see a beautiful road in the countryside in
the summer. It's empty. And we just hear the sounds of birds and
In a split second we see a motorcycle speeding along the road. But we
just see it. After a long pause we eventually hear the sound of its
engine and a voiceover tells us: 'Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R.'
OK, I admit Germans seem to love the achievements of engineers most
(forget the McDonald's ad for a second) because the last spot I found is
again for a car.
We see an Elvis fan riding in his old street cruiser. He's listening to,
of course, his hero. A miniature Elvis is stuck to the inside of the
windscreen and moves its pelvis everytime the car rattles and shakes as
the driver changes gear.
But it's a very old car. So it breaks down. The charming Elvis fan has
to hitch a lift and gets picked up by a lady in an Audi. Even though
he's shy, he asks her to put on his Elvis cassette.
They continue travelling with the sound of the King of Rock 'n'
The Elvis fan grows in confidence. He pulls out his Elvis figurine and
proudly places it on the Audi's windscreen. But it doesn't rattle and
shake. Even when the lady changes gear. Nothing. No Elvis the
Our friendly fan doesn't mind and flicks the little figure with his
hand, smiling. A voiceover tells us that Audi now has the first stepless
The fifth spot I would like to introduce is ... ooops, sorry, I'm
actually not allowed to do so because I promised Campaign that I would
select only one ad from Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg. But there is a great
ad for Die Welt newspaper. If you are interested in seeing it, give me a
call and I'll send it to you.
And if someone out there just doesn't want to get rid of their
prejudices about Germany, watch this one: Munich, 1 September, 7.30pm,
World Cup qualifying match, Germany v England. Germany will win and
prove you right. And, yes, you can go to Munich by train.
You'll make it on time.