Not hot

Each generation finds new ways to say something is amazing – far out, cool, phat, hot or these days among young people awesome. Everything in the US and now in the UK seems to be: awesome (best pronounced with a slight nasal twang and a long awwwwwwwesome). In Germany everything seems to be geil. Geil actually means randy (in the UK sense of ‘feeling like having sex’) or hot (to mean sexy or erotic), and now it’s shifting to mean awwwwesome.

A number of years back the home electronics chain Saturn started using the slogan ‘Geiz ist geil‘ – meaning avarice/scrimping/being frugal is hot. As young people were beginning to use geil, it was a good way to play to the zeitgeist and provoked older consumers by being deliberately shocking. They’ve now moved on to ‘So muss Technik’ and have introduced a brand ambassador, a slightly nerdy techie complete with trendy beard called Nick.

Not hot. Source: vimeo TV ad screenshot

Not hot

So what now with geil? Enter – of all ideas – an e-commerce wine company. It woos you with smooth music, premium market cues, a soft voice-over, even a marriage proposal – a TV ad with sophisticated decor and plush dinner date settings – and then it smacks you between the eyes 1) with a logo that looks like General Electric has entered the hotel business and 2) a name that is totally incongruous with buying fine wines online: Geile Weine – hot/cool/randy/awesome) wines. Have they been drinking too much?

So Hans, take a seat, good to see you, that’s a smart looking wine you’ve brought with you, where did you get it? Geile Weine… er, oh, a cheap one was it?

The problem with this brand name is the mismatch. The name does not fit the market. If they want to shock, they’ve done it. But at least do it with the right tone of voice or register, match the tacky silly name to a tacky audience that might want cheap vodka with energy extracts, not WINE!

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe a lot of consumers will use the company’s online shop, but will they ADMIT it?

Alex Woodruff

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One response to “Not hot

  1. Sorry, Alex, but I think you got a few things wrong here. Using “geil” is really starting to date people now… And Saturn had to get rid of the slogan anyway because of the bad rep it was getting them “Geiz-ist-geil-Mentalität” was the insult du jour in every newspaper then.

    A 20-year old wouldn’t use “geil”. So the generation that this website is targeting is actually – mine! I think it’s targeted at the age group of people who are just beginning make a little more money and are just beginning to fuss a little more over the kind of wine they serve at their “Landlust”-inspired garden party.

    The logo and especially the contrast between the austere logo and the slangy brand name work for me. (I don’t know the TV ad, though, since I am not watching TV anymore – you know, we’re the Netflix generation. ;-)

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