Tease me, Malteser

What the hell are some copywriters thinking when they pen a slogan?

Maybe alcohol affects their ability to think straight. We’ve already seen Irish companies writing some really bizarre stuff. But the two examples in this post show that it’s not just alcohol companies – the (often controversial) German drugstore chain Schlecker are equally guilty.

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Let’s start with the example on the right. It’s a poster for a Stuttgart-based brewery which has adopted a Bavarian brand called Malteser (by the way, it does NOT come from a town near the Alps, as the poster would suggest). This poster is possibly trying to get us to remember the name, and associate it with balmy summer evenings and the beer garden. So it’s MAL (“Time for…”) Summer, Time for Sun, Time for Teser. Er, what’s “teser”.

Well, if you’re not German, I’ll have to translate “teser” for you. It means nothing, zippo, zilch. Sorry copywriter, I’ll remember this campaign only for a terrible attempt to drum the brand in. You’re on the same level as the alcohol-influenced advertising people at Beamish. Ouch.

But at least they didn’t try mixing languages – unlike Schlecker, who are my second example in this post.

Their new campaign (also on TV and going big guns) comes under the new corny slogan:

For English speakers?

For English speakers?

    For you. Vor Ort.

This roughly translates as “For you, locally”. Come on, Schlecker. WTF?!?

Well, I was already wincing at this slogan, but perhaps that’s understandable as I’m a Brit being constantly exposed to Denglish. So, don’t let me judge this. What do Germans think… ? The answer (according to a survey by Horizont.net): 77% of respondents described it as dreadful. As one blogger suggested (who actually opened with “Fuck you. Vor Ort”), why not at least write “Vor you. Vor Ort”? May I’ll go one step further. “Für Dich. Vor Ort.” Why does Schlecker even need the English and the painful pun?

So what can we conclude from both examples?
1) What seems like a cool idea in meetings with your advertising agency and during creative workshops can be total crap.
2) Do your research. A simple consumer survey can save you screaming silly slogans and getting people to remember you for the pain of your prose, not the nuance of your name.

Given all the nasty feedback Schlecker’s getting, I hope they slope off, schleck their wounds, and stop trying to be smart-asses.

Alex Woodruff

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One response to “Tease me, Malteser

  1. You’re absolutely right in my opinion. But as a German and a beer drinker I can not say that the Malteser slogan is that stupid. When I read it first I never thought about a word called “teser”. But maybe this comes from that I already know the brand and that I see it as a brand name when looking at it. I think its not the best wordplay in marketing history but also not the worst.

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