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Samstag, Januar 21, 2006

Jean-Remy von Matt - in English, please
I was asked what this memo says that makes all the german bloggers talk about Klowände, Deutschland and this von Matt guy. Its an internal newsletter from Jean-Remy von Matt, the head of the pr-company Jung von Matt, which is responsible for the biggest image campaign for Germany since ...ehm...well...some time. To shorten things, please have a look at Thomas Nephews entry here - he explains quite well what this "Du bist Deutschland"-thing is all about.
I asked a good friend with better professional skills for a translation of the original memo and here it is:
My mother taught me to say thanks for a present, even if you have no use for it. I only just realized again how right she was.

Two weeks ago, "You are Germany" ("Du bist Deutschland") was launched, the biggest non-profit campaign of all times and a huge present.

The big publishers made a 35 Million Euro gift of time and space. 30 a-list celebrities gave their time and their faces. We and kempertrautmann gave our time and our hearts.

The aim: to fight grumpyness.

The thanks: grumpyness. Which, fortunately, came only from the groups you wouldn't expect anything else from:

1. Our fellow advertisers, busily piping up in trade journals. Many of them find the campaign useless, "because advertising cannot be the adequate way to economically push a nation forward". It is really sad that our trade doesn't believe in the power of communication any more.

2. Weblogs, the toilet walls of the internet. (What on earth gives every computer owner the right to exude their opinion, unasked for? And most bloggers really just exude. This new, lowest level of opinion-forming becomes evident when you search for "Du bist Deutschland" on

3. Intellectual Journalists from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to Die Tageszeitung who do exude their opinion "asked for" in so far as they have verifiable readers, but: "The campaign reaches its cynical peak in the spot showing gay and disabled people on the holocaust memorial in Berlin" (Die Zeit).
Tough luck to have so much on your mind that you completely lose your gut feeling.

By the way: Sebastian Thurner finds the campaign simply wrong.

Wrong, what is that? Even after watching it fifty times I still feel touched, even moved - although I am not even Germany.

Can that be wrong?
Yours, Jean-Remy

There are - as can be seen in the great diversity of the reactions in the other blogs - lots of issues in this. What puzzled me the most (and got me to publish the letter) is the extreme oldfashioned view of von Matt, that sees one elite-group of people telling the nation how they should feel like and his overacted bragging about his own trade, the press and the blogs is exemplary for a class system here in Germany, that completely disconnects itself from the gros of people.
I really don't care about von Matt himself, he is just an example by own fault and i thought, if i understood marketing right, this article will test my cause: That people are not controllable by uppish elitists, be it by ads or by politics. I'm so happy about the outcome so far: Two days of communication, discussion (even some in favor of von Matt), most of it with an ironic twist instead of taking all this too serious, lots of great people who raised issues like what chances can be seen in the looming end of the classical one-way communication if you really embrace it as politician, journalist or - well - marketing guy.
Another aspect, that i understand now is, how it could happen, that an extensive image campaign completely misses its goal. This letter clarifies that question: Von Matt can easily and successfully sell cars and luxury goods with this attitude. But he had to fail selling "courage" to people he looks down to from a pedestial that luckily is not even half as high as he imagines.
With such a distorted perspective the fall is a matter of time: Jean-Remy von Matt aimed so low, that he eventually shot his foot.


von Jens Scholz   direct link     
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