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Ritter Sport, Mercedes-Benz, Aktion Mensch, Volksbank, Otto, and BMW are just some of the brands that have changed their slogans
Ritter Sport, Mercedes-Benz, Aktion Mensch, Volksbank, Otto and BMW are just some of the brands that have changed their slogansImage: #ZusammenGegenCorona/dpa/picture alliance

150 major German companies launch vaccine PR push

December 7, 2021

Mercedes-Benz has swapped its "the best or nothing" slogan for a more public-health-minded tagline. Firms from Burger King to banks are also in on the massive campaign.

https://p.dw.com/p/43xph

More than 150 German companies, including some of the country's biggest, on Tuesday joined a social media movement to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by incorporating words like vaccination or vaccine into their advertising slogans.

For example Ritter Sport, one of Germany's biggest chocolatiers, has swapped its famous "Square. Practical. Good." for "Square. Practical. Vaccinated."

Supermarket giant Lidl has replaced "Lidl is worth it," with "Vaccination is worth it," while Mercedes Benz is now telling customers "vaccination or nothing," instead of "the best or nothing."

Other participants include BMW, soap manufacturer Persil, Burger King and banks such as Sparkasse and Volksbank.

Future Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the idea, calling it an "outstanding sign of social responsibility and self-initiative" from the corporations.

The campaign is the brainchild of Berlin-based advertising agency Antoni. 

"Brands have influence and range. So why not use both for the message that getting yourself vaccinated is the best way out of the pandemic for all of us?" Antoni partner Sven Dörrenbächer said in an interview with the Bild newspaper.

Nestle's KitKat asks customers to have a break and have a jab
Nestle's KitKat asks customers to have a break and have a jabImage: #ZusammenGegenCorona/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's vaccination rate has lagged behind those of its fellow EU members and not because of a lack of availability after an initially sluggish rollout. According to the infection disease agency the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), some 69.1% of eligible Germans are fully vaccinated, compared to 80% in Spain or 87% in Portugal.

While the new slogans were met with praise online, they were also met with criticism from anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, who called for a boycott of the participating brands.

es/msh (AFP, dpa)