BILD is the biggest yellow press newspaper owned by Axel Springer Press, a very conservative and influential publisher in Germany.
Fo a couple of month, advertising agency Jung von Matt runs a billboard campaign for them, with celebrities writing testimonials about BILD, that give the impression that the respective contributors use this campaign to criticize and with a wink do honor this newspaper. The celebrities do not get aid for their testimonials, but may choose any institution, Springer donates a 10k EUR in their name.
Now Jung von Matt had the idea of asking Wir sind Helden, a quite left wing, yet very popular German Pop band for a testimonial.
Their answer is a bomb, and it goes like this:
Dear agency Jung von Matt,
regarding your request to take part in the current image campaign for BILD:
Are you nuts?
The current poster campaign with the BILD newspaper, which features testimonials, shallow commentary (even critical!) of so-called celebrities … is the most perfidious campaign I’ve seen in a long time. Or in other words according to your standards a successful campaign for sure.
Rarely has a campaign so skillfully played the stupidity on all sides. On the one hand, celebrities considering: Well, the campaign reaches an awful lot of people, that would be a good thing to use … but somehow BILD is below my standards… And then you, my dear agency, come along and build a bridge … and promise, on the other side there’s a bag of jelly bears. Your deal is – you pay no money but donate an amount to anything the celeb names – so no one can get blamed for doing this for his own interests but to help, others but the Springer Press.
What happens is, all this celebrities come up with pseudo critical wits and bits … . … and so you thought if we can get ‘Wir sind Helden’ to share a testimonial, this would be great, ’cause if even they do it…
The problem is I’ve probably studied with half of you, and I know that you learn in the first semester that the medium is the message. Or in other words, that … I know you shit on everything that matters.
The BILD is not a trash-cultural item, nor a harmless “Guilty Pleasure” for streamlined yuppies, not a witty social reference, nor a lifestyle thing. And certainly Bild newspaper is not what you’d like to sell it to us: a hated but at the same time beloved largely harmless media.
BILD is a dangerous political tool – who’s objective is not to describe, but to build Germany. With a clear agenda.
Even if I repeat myself – I think you’re nuts!
With the best regards,
Judith Holofernes (Singer of Wir sind Helden)
The great thing about this is – the web is buzzing with tweets and reblogs of their answer. Servers that published the text broke down due to the massive traffic.
The whole idea of the campaign turned completely against Springer just by someone neglecting to become part of this media game.