The path to true irreverence is fraught with danger. Tread carefully and a brand can achieve that most precious of states: communion with the consumer. Overstep the mark, however, and you risk plumbing rare depths of dismality.
Jägermeister proudly proclaims its "irreverent identity" with a new £1m digital ad campaign, "Be the meister", targeting 18- to 24-year-olds in the build-up to Christmas. It attempts to prove those credentials with a film that is part-early-2000s Eurodance, part-Brothers Grimm and entirely baffling.
In the dead of the Berlin night, we find ashen-faced slaves armed with pickaxes hacking away at the walls of an ice cave to extract a frozen bottle of the herbal digestif. In walks supermodel Nadja Auermann to check that the beverage is being served at the optimum temperature (-18 degrees Celsius, as if you needed to ask).
Perhaps sensing that the ad has yet to reach the requisite level of surreality, Auermann exclaims "Of course it’s cold; it’s German" before moving upstairs to find revellers in a "whimsical" German nightclub. Then, in her breathiest voice, she ends with the line: "It’s good to be the meister."
Yet that shared sense of irreverent fun never materialises; so near, and yet so far. The sense of disappointment for Jägermeister must be as bitter as the taste of the putrid product for anyone actually attempting to drink it.
Client Nicole Goodwin, marketing director, Mast-Jaegermeister UK
Title "Be the meister"
Agency Opperman Weiss