A new Berlin tourism campaign went against all the rules and shows what is usually objectionable. In order to convince the most disobedient to use a mask, the German capital used an elderly woman, with a handmade mask, to show the middle finger, in protest to all those who do not use facial protection.
“Those who don’t wear a mask will bug us – we obey the rules of the corona,” says the ad, launched in September and which has now gone viral, and which has caused controversy among the citizens of Berlin.
The advertisement is part of a campaign that the city will run for six months, until March 2021, and which began with advertisements on public transport.
Some ads are based on images, others are entirely textual. One reads “Liberté. Egalité. Charité?”, A pun between the French national motto and the name of one of the most well-known hospitals in Berlin, Charité.
Still, it is the woman showing the middle finger that has most caught the public’s attention.
Christian Tänzler, a spokesman for Visit Berlin, and one of those responsible for the announcement, told CNN that the purpose of the image was to shock people into paying attention. “Most people in Berlin are respecting the rules, but there is a minority that are not and are risking the lives of other people – older people and communities at risk. We wanted to address this problem,” he said.
“For the whole campaign, we chose the language that people understand. We didn’t want to tell people to do this or that, we wanted to get their attention and we wanted to do it with Berlin-style humor,” he added.
“Infection rates are rising rapidly and we need to pay attention to that in order to get through the next wave,” added Tänzler, who promises that the next images “will be funnier”.
Masks are mandatory in the German capital for shopping and public transport. And with cases on the rise, the government is also considering an evening curfew.
Berlin is also producing advertisements in English, Turkish and Arabic, and a mural will be released soon, in addition to live paintings in the city’s squares.