German electronics giant Media Markt has been plugging its stores for years with the challenging slogan “Ich bin doch nicht blöd”, which I’ll translate loosely as “I’m not thick you know”.
The tag line is now used from Berlin to Barcelona, as you can see from the Spanish ad on the right (by the way: just as well this ad’s not being used in Germany, where pointing to your head is called “showing somebody the bird” – an insult for which you can actually be fined!).
Anyway, Media Markt discounts many of its products in high profile, high volume campaigns. Once they’ve got you in the shop – as part of their compensation pricing strategy – they’ll sting you with prices way above the average for other goods (such as the print cartridges and other “peripherals” they make good margins on). Overall you’re supposed to think, “See, I know where to get a good bargain. I’m not thick you know”. But if you do your homework, actually you’re quite thick to go shopping there if you buy goods not on promotion.
In this example of a bus ad sent to me by MBA sleuth Elina, ARLT, an up-and-coming but still regional south German challenger to Media Markt has been brave enough to try its hand at comparative advertising. Interestingly they don’t mention Media Markt by name, and you have to do a bit of work to sort through the clutter, but they do make the oblique swipe fairly obvious.
The copy reads:
Don’t buy a PC where you’d go to buy a washing machine! You’re not thick, you know!
What can Media Markt do about this? Very little.