It is one of the biggest sports events in the world with over 150 million expected viewers in 2011: The Super Bowl. A giant American tradition since 1967 when the first Super Bowl was played. Which had only 50 million viewers at the time. Meanwhile you’d need the entire population of Germany and France watching the same event to cover the current audience. But just to get this huge number a little bit more tangible: I’d estimate that more than 98 percent of those viewers don’t understand anything about the rules. Which narrows the audience down to the inhabitants of Berlin let’s say. ‘Cause most of the viewers just stick in front of the screen waiting anxiously of the guy with the white shoes. What’s his name – “Waterboy“, right. And honestly: I’m one of them. Cause the entire scenery looks more like a movie set to me. As a European I’m still not sure if this bowl thing truly is sports since they use radios to refine the games strategy while playing. Or is that because all those Americans can’t remember the purpose of the game after the first 15 minutes and someone has to tell them what to do? Just a guess.
Anyway, this soup bowl event is an interesting thing nevertheless. And that’s because it comes with these commercial breaks. And that’s when the 150 million viewers are on the same page again. Why? Clear cut: Everybody knows naturally something about consumption. And that’s why every year the rate of a 30-second spot mounts up insanely. When the Super Bowl started in 1967 the average fee to air a commercial was $42K. This year its $3 million even. But remember – you’ll reach 150 consume professionals at once. That means we are talking about a $20 cost per mille, which is almost the same amount you’d pay for an average newsletter campaign. But this only as a side kick for all of you who need to convince a client to put on a spot for the Super Bowl rather than to blow off another email blast.
I think I’ll have to change my name now since I made it official and compared the holy Super Bowl with email marketing campaigns for soup suppliers. Don’t judge me Americans, I’m a poor German lost in the futuristic surrounding of the new world. Radios, tz, tz, tz.
I don’t know about you, but I truly like this ad. Because it’s more obvious than you might think. And it is obvious, isn’t it? It’s a great job from a professional agency perspective. I mean we could start arguing if this mustache looks great on her or not. But the more interesting part on this is why only a few American companies breaking the social rules in their advertisement. While it is a common thing in Europe to put on campaigns that really go under the social waist, most American competitors are very polite and respectful. Matter of fact this is the first time I’ve seen such kind of social incorrectness in advertisement. Do you remember Diesel’s last campaign “be stupid?” Amongst others they displayed this tasteful little boob-shooting in the shop window at the Store on Lexington and 59th. After two days the display was still there. But they’d covered the visible boob with a pink label.
Come on, what’s the point. Isn’t it a little narrow-minded to believe that you have to cover boobs in New York City because of social reasons? Do Americans truly think because they beep out the f-word during the Saturday night movie and blur all nude scenes people getting better in a religious sense? I didn’t get it yet, but I’m still working on it. I would be thankful if somebody could enlighten me on this. But until the penny has dropped I’ll recommend my American friends to work on the advertisement beside as sort of a mutual mentality approach. Have a great weekend fellow Yankees.
„I think Germany has an enormous amount to teach us,” says Thomas Geoghegan, a labor lawyer in Chicago and author of the Book “Were you born on the wrong Continent?” ”Us” implicates the average American and the teaching part refers basically to a lesson about a reasonable work-life balance.
Americans aren’t able to focus
Americans work almost 9 weeks more per year compared with an average German employee. That’s truly bad news. But it’s getting really worse when it comes to the point that the Germans nevertheless are more productive. Germans “probably working more efficiently than we are, and maybe the fact that they’re taking time off has something to do with that,” is Geoghegan’s conclusion. And he is absolutely right. Germans are much more efficient than Americans. That’s what I am experiencing all day long. And in my opinion the less efficiency comes from a huge lack of concentration. Lots of Americans aren’t able to focus on their work. Lots of them are unable to priories to do’s and, certainly one of the biggest issues, they are not very foresighted. And please don’t get me wrong. We are only talking about job issues so far. At the end of the day all that leads into a big management issue that can only be solved with longer working hours.
President Obama hugs German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Germans don’t have the guts for self-fulfillment
Regardless of the working hour discussion Americans sometimes are joking around about the rigid and structured German mentality. Always with the conclusion that the German society offers no space to live an individual life. And they are right. That’s the price we have to pay for it. A huge crowd in Germany, especially in younger ages, has the same desire for self-fulfillment than Americans. But most of them don’t have the guts to step out of their comfort zone. Social security seems more important than taking chances. And Germans are much more obligated to their jobs than Americans as well. While lots of Americans, primarily on the east and west coast, have a job that pays their bills Germans feel more responsible for their work. Especially for the quality, their co-workers or the brand they are working for. One reason might be again the lack of individualism in Germany. Other than in America Germans don’t have a job and besides them another carrier as artist, producer, journalist or what else. They accept that most part of their life is affected by work and the other part is to recover from it.
That might also explain why there is a minimum of 24 days holiday for each employee. Besides a very detailed and regulated social security of course. “They have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, nursing care, and childcare” is Geoghegan’s outline for this part. But he isn’t quite right on this. The federally mandated vacation is only five weeks. And we don’t have the free university tuition any more. But compared with the college expenses in America the tuition in Germany is definitely very inexpensive. So it still remains the question how Germany became such a great place to work. “The Allies did it” is Geoghegan’s answer for this. And he is as wrong as he possibly could be. The entire German social security system relates back to the efforts of Otto von Bismarck in the middle of the 19th century. No worries Mr. Geoghegan, I know about the concentration thing. There is no reason to blame you. I’m the teacher, you are the scholar. ‘Cause you’ve asked for it. And I promise, I’ll be very thoughtful with your concerns. Yes I am.
If you are intrested to read the entire Interview with Thomas Geoghegan, please stop by here.