December 7, 2005
Slogans: Du Bist Ein Blue Chip Advertising Agency?
I learned recently that the German government believes its citizens are among the world's most pessimistic and unhappy people.
This gloomy 'Weltanschauung' has been widely viewed as the by-product of Germany's current economic woes and high unemployment rates. Perhaps not since the inflationary 1930s has the economic outlook for Germany been so lackluster.
Unable to leave bad enough alone, the German government recently launched a €30 million ($35 million) image campaign designed to boost morale and self confidence. The Gegenitiative (together initiative) centers on the simple yet sonorous slogan: Du Bist Deutschland (You Are Germany).
In my opinion, the blue chip advertising agency that spawned it probably chose the tagline for its brevity. In a nation of complex polysyllabic words and concepts - this refreshingly short (four-syllable) slogan may have been viewed as both memorable and emotionally stirring.
But that is also precisely why it doesn't work. After the bulk of the image investment was spent, German historian Stefan Mörz uncovered a 1930's photo that documents just how stirring this memorable tagline, or slogan can be.
"Denn Du Bist Deutschland" ("Because You Are Germany") was originally used by the Nazi's to promote a unified, socialist agenda that planted the seeds of the Holocaust. Which begs this question to the campaign's developers: "Du Bist Ein Blue Chip Advertising Agency (You Are a Blue Chip Advertising Agency)?"
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