How to make an ad really German? Ask Adidas

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Tuesday July 9, 2024 - Posted by:

Adidas ‘Typisch Deutsch’ EURO 2024 advert is a masterclass in hyper-localisation

Screenshot from Adidas advert

EURO 2024 has brought us some fantastic and sometimes surprising football, but the buzz hasn’t just been around the drama on-pitch. Tournaments of this scale also attract some of the most creative and captivating ads, all vying for success in the prestigious ad slots that accompany the matches.

One standout ad has captured Locaria’s German linguists’ attention through its brilliant hyper-localisation, using a whole host of cultural and linguistic nuances to draw in and engage the local audience, showing the power and value in creating content that resonates with your target audience. 

‘Typisch Deutsch’ by Adidas, considered by some as a tongue in cheek response to the German Football Association’s decision to switch the supplier of the national team’s kit away from Adidas, is a showcase of German culture, humour, and diversity, and has proven a hit among viewers. Let’s break down what makes this ad so special.

 

Challenging Cultural Stereotypes: Embracing Diversity

Its namesake and a recurring phrase throughout, the ad playfully mocks the phrase “typisch Deutsch” (“typical German”), emphasising Germany’s multiculturalism. Rather than reinforcing clichés, it celebrates the diverse cultural elements that define modern Germany. This inclusive message resonates widely, appealing to people from various cultural backgrounds and reinforcing the idea that German identity is multifaceted and evolving.

Iconic Song Choice: “Völlig losgelöst”

The ad’s heart beats to the tune of “Völlig losgelöst,” a beloved German track that strikes a chord across generations. This song isn’t just a nostalgic pick; it’s a smart move to evoke a sense of unity and shared heritage. Its instant recognisability creates an emotional bond that transcends age, proving how music can powerfully tap into a nation’s collective memory.

Humorous Stereotypes: Laughing at Ourselves

German punctuality and meticulousness – often stereotyped traits – are hilariously highlighted in the ad. A character’s extreme attention to the bike lane serves as a playful jab. This approach works precisely because it acknowledges the stereotype without taking it too seriously.

Clever Cultural References: “Döner, aber bitte ohne scharf”

The ad’s standout line, “Döner, aber bitte ohne scharf” (“Kebab, but not so spicy please”), brilliantly captures a common German fast food order. Despite its grammatical inaccuracy, it’s a phrase everyone in Germany uses, making it instantly relatable. The response “Tipik alman,” blending Turkish to mean “typical German,” nods to Germany’s significant Turkish community. This interplay highlights the multicultural fabric of Germany while light-heartedly pointing out the German preference for milder flavours.

Authentic Setting: The Kiosk

Setting the ad in a kiosk adds another layer of localisation. Kiosks are a staple of German daily life, especially in larger cities. The final shot featuring the “Späti” sign specifically refers to Berlin’s kiosks, acknowledging regional diversity within Germany. This detail grounds the ad in a familiar setting, adding authenticity and local flavour.

Irn-Bru getting in on the action with ‘Mannschaft’

Irn-Bru, arguably one of the most recognisable Scottish exports, also had some fun with a linguistic insight of its own during the tournament. For those of us watching from the UK, we were treated with an innuendo-laden advert based on the misunderstanding that could arise from an English-speaker hearing the German word for ‘football team’: ‘Mannschaft’.

 

If you want help with cultural insights for a brand activation of your own, contact us to learn more about our approach.

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