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Taking a Comedic Approach to Brew Sales

November 19, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Brauerei Beck & Co.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

Challenge: Give Beck's beer, the leading German import, a more contemporary image.

The Ads: TV ads poke fun at stereotypes to contrast what Germans supposedly do poorly with what they do well--in this case, brew Beck's beer. In one ad, a stand-up comic from Germany performs before a nearly empty club. "I just flew in from Berlin, and boy, are my arms tired," he says, looking about the room as a single person claps. "Thank you; I'll be here all week," he says. "Germans don't do comedy," a voice-over says as the scene from the club fades and a bottle of Beck's appears. "They do beer." Other ads show a German businessman on a leather couch listening to a relaxation tape, and an absurd rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

Comment: It's refreshing to see people laugh at themselves, and the spots certainly convey a lighthearted outlook. But aside from the amusing stand-up comic spot, the ads provide more evidence than Beck's probably intended that Germans don't do comedy. $$+

*

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

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