One thing I’ve noticed is that German TV advertising has gotten a lot better in recent years. Gone are the days of Herr Kaiser, Clementine and – the supreme horror of them all – Frau Sommer. The sexist coffee ads with the insufferable know-it-all neighbour Frau Sommer were so awful that I still refuse to buy the brand in question (even though it’s actually a local Bremen brand) thirty years later.
What’s even more striking is that some of the best TV ads currently running in Germany are ads for supermarket chains of all things. Now supermarket ads (provided the chains even bothered to run ads, which a lot of them didn’t) used to be tame, silly and bastions of sexism along with washing powder and coffee ads.
Things have gotten a lot better in recent years and particularly the supermarket ads have improved by leaps and bounds. And this holiday season, several German supermarket chains have created Christmas ads that are mini movies in themselves with a full plot.
So let’s take a look:
I’ll start with my absolutely favourite spot, courtesy of Kaufland. It’s a Star Wars themed Christmas ad, complete with a budding geek romance.
I love this spot so much, because it not just shows that girls are Star Wars fans, too, but also that boys can actually appreciate the romantic elements of the movies.
The supermarket chain Edeka has a completely different approach with this touching Christmas ad that even has a message beyond “Buy more stuff”. The ad caused quite a stir and passed way beyond the German borders, as the massive viewing figures indicate:
This animated ad of the mail-order company turned online store Otto tells the story of an aged postman making sure that one little boy’s Christmas wish is fulfilled, albeit thirty years late.
The Christmas ad of the discount supermarket chain Penny chronicles that thirty-year odyssey of a lost nutcracker.
Coincidentally, I had a nutcracker just like that one. A “friend” of mine killed it by stuffing sticky candy into its mouth. What is it with violence against nutcrackers by bullying kids?
The chain REWE also runs an ad about a boy and his best friend, in this case a snowman:
Another Christmas ad about a kid, in this case a little girl, and her best friend, courtesy of the department store chain Galeria Kaufhof:
I totally want Hugo, the plushie elf. Should have checked if Kaufhof is selling them.
And the little girl’s dad looks eerily like Mark Ruffalo.