Recent polls have shown a sort of National Depression in Germany of late. (hattip: Reader JaneM)
The article blames in part Germans societal reliance on Government to provide oppurtunity and advancement while also blaming a simple and historical German malaise that is handed down from generation to generation.
Apparently things have gotten bad enough that a television ad campaign has been launched to try boost the German Publics morale.
But look at the slogans and tag lines!
“A butterfly can unleash a typhoon. The air moved by the flap of its wings can uproot trees a few kilometers away. Just as a breath of air can become a storm, your deeds can have an effect.”
Excuse me, but what the HELL does that mean?
No. If these companies really want to change Germans attitudes about themselves they have to focus on things that Germans are already proud of!
Canadians reading this will know exactly what I am talking about.
Beer. Canadians love Beer. And Molson Canadian loves to sell Canadians Beer.
So what did Molson Canadian do? they made an add, about their Beer, but simultaneously about being Canadian and all the things that Canadians LOVE to love about themselves. Beer, language, hockey, peacekeeping, diversity, fairness, beer…
What did it do? It was a sensation. It was quite possibly the single most popular commercial for Young Canadians (between 13-35) ever made. People would recite the whole commercial at bars. It was like a new National Anthem.
Now obviously the Molson Canadian commercial played on a subtle patriotism that Canadians already harboured inside of them… and I believe it had already been ignited by such events as the Olympics and the razor-thin margin of defeat of the Seperatists in Quebec. It also played on how Canadians define themselves as opposed to their American neighbours.
I believe Germans probably have that subtle patriotism inside them as well, but perhaps they are simply afraid to show it. Whether that is due to their war-time history, the Cold War afterwards, or what, I cannot know. I will posit, however, that if Germany were to win, say, the World Cup (of Football/Soccer), THEN we would start to see that national desperation lift. Then there would be the opportunity to focus on the Good rather than on the Bad.
Feeling good about oneself is often more about being able to recognize the good rather than ignore the bad… it’s about recognize your own flaws, and laughing, rather than crying. I think this ad campaign has it’s heart in the right place (and it’s obviously attempted to “borrow” from Molsons, but it’s taking the wrong tact. Germans need to be inspired. They need to see things they are proud of. I don’t know what those things would be… but given all the amazing things Germans have contributed to the world, I’m sure someone can think of something.
I don’t think this has anything to do with what sort of social safety net or unemployment rate there is in Germany. Though of course those could be contributing factors. I believe every country has a “soul” and if the people of that country have lost contact with their soul, then they become unhappy and depressed. Perhaps since the unification of East and West Germany, Germans have yet to find their new, unified soul. Once they have found it though… it will be obvious to them… like finding a long lost brother… and their spirits will be lifted.
For kicks..I’ll leave you with Canadas Unofficial National Anthem… as read by Joe. (click to see a video of the commercial)
Hey, I’m not a lumberjack, or a fur trader….
I don’t live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled….
and I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I’m certain they’re really really nice.
I have a Prime Minister, not a president.
I speak English and French, not American.
And I pronounce it ‘about’, not ‘a boot’.
I can proudly sew my country’s flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, not policing,
diversity, not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.
A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch,
and it is pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’, ‘zed’ !!!!
Canada is the second largest landmass!
The first nation of hockey!
and the best part of North America
My name is Joe!!
And I am Canadian!!!