Everywhere you look there are beautiful landscapes with attractive young people smiling and holding up glasses full of cool, delicious beer.

Everywhere you look there are beautiful landscapes with attractive

young people smiling and holding up glasses full of cool, delicious


The worst thing about German beer advertising is not that it’s crawling

with stereotypes. It’s that all of the characters involved come across

like so many mannequins. Then, suddenly, along comes a poster campaign

from a small Hamburg ad agency, Phillip &Keuntje, for the pint-sized St

Pauli Brewery. It makes no bones about the real reason why people drink

beer: to get drunk.

Truth in advertising. It’s not something that people in Germany are

accustomed to which is why it often meets with a negative reaction. But

the nice thing about the St Pauli campaign is that it brightens up the

urban landscape, giving people an opportunity to look back and reflect

on some of their less brilliant moments. The campaign attained cult

status, and even managed to sell beer.

The second campaign I have chosen is a beautifully photographed, subtly

designed print campaign by Scholz & Friends in Berlin. We are shown a

picture of an elderly married couple in their comfortable, middle-class

living room, complete with a grand piano. The caption reads: ’Carnegie

Hall, New York.’ Another execution shows a worn kitchen counter with an

old transistor radio on it, and a girl standing in front with her eyes

closed. The caption reads: ’La Scala, Milan.’

Of course, the Scala Opera House is within the elegant confines of Milan

and not some shabby German kitchen or a comfy living room. But cultural

connoisseurs will not fail to notice the logo of the classical radio

station, Bayern Klassik. The point is that wherever you are when you

hear this station you will instantly be transported to a place of

musical excellence.

Let us now deal briefly with things subterranean. Everybody knows those

trashy gossip tabloids that lead you to repeating some story or other

from them to other guests at a party, although of course you would never

go out and buy the paper yourself. Well, there is one such tabloid in

Germany called Bunte, for which the ad agency, Springer & Jacoby,

developed a print campaign with the slogan: ’Too bad you had to miss


Somehow the ads succeed in making you wish you had been part of it, if

only as a spectator. The campaign appeals to our basest instincts; let’s

be honest - who wouldn’t take a peek in their gorgeous young neighbour’s

bedroom when she has forgotten to draw her curtains?

Anyway, I’m off to grab our free office copy of Bunte, go home to relax

and listen to Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier while gulping a few bottles

of Astra. Prost.

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