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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Virginia is for Lovers: But How About Du bist Deutschland?

In 1969 the most popular slogans were: It's the Real Thing," "The Wings of Man," "The Big Mac," "The Silent Majority," "Give Peace a Chance," "One Giant Leap for Mankind," and "Virginia is for Lovers. "

One of the most enduring slogans was Virginia is for lovers. This is how it developed:

The phrase came from a creative team headed by George Woltz of Martin & Woltz Inc., the Richmond advertising agency that won the Virginia State Travel Service account in 1968. According to Martin, a $100-a-week copywriter named Robin McLaughlin came up with an advertising concept that read, “Virginia is for history lovers.” For a beach-oriented ad, the headline would have read, “Virginia is for beach lovers”; for a mountains ad, “Virginia is for mountain lovers,” and so on. Martin thought the approach might be too limiting. Woltz agreed, and the agency dropped the modifier and made it simply “Virginia Is For Lovers.” The first ad mentioning the new slogan ran in the March 1969 issue of "Modern Bride." (from )

It has been an enduring slogan that has been reputed to be know by 3 out of every 4 Americans, and brought a boon to our travel business. In 1969 travel brought in 809 million dollars, now that figure has grown to more than $11.6 billion dollars.

The slogan while having a great deal of impact on our tourist trade, has also been an easy hook to hang satire on. If you care to read some just Google Virginia is for Lovers satire, you will have plenty of reading material.

Even with these attempts at quips at our travel slogan, it is nothing compared to what is happening in Germany. In one of the largest ad campaigns ever tried with the motto, "You are Germany" started out with a bang that led to an explosion, and now have been painting faces red throughout Germany. It has been one of the most sought after stories on the internet, but until recently few, other than German speakers knew what was going on.

This is what happened, a shortened history:

1. An ad campaign started to improve the self esteem of Germans, that had initial success €30 million was donated and used in a spectacular effort led by Jung von Matt, a prominent German ad firm. Germans were taking pride in the fact they were German. "Du bist Deutschland," had caught the imagination of the people.

2. German intellectuals started to write sour things about the campaign.

3 German Bloggers added to that sourness with their posts.

4. Jung von Matt strikes back telling the bloggers who are you to speak your opinions? (This is strikes a familar chord with me, I have had those exact words said to me, also.)

5. The kicker. A picture comes to the surface from 1935 with Hitler and a banner with "Du bist Deutschland" translated "you are Germany." All heck breaks loose. Even though, the picture may be a fake.

6. And the heat of this has put this as one of the top ranking stories on the internet, and it does not appear to be loosing momentum.

We hope the Germans can work this out. If not we recommend Germany is for lovers, it didn't do too bad for us.

Our shortened history leaves out some important details that can be found in our sources:

Tecnorati Blog



At 2:31 PM, Blogger Hellblazer said...

The Picture is no Fake.

But the Nazi-thing was not a problem and never was counted as "scandal" or so.

Here's an English article explaining the backgrounds:

At 6:08 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comment. I have read were some have doubted the pictures authenticity. As far as Hitler being not part of the scandal, I am not too sure about that. There is still quite a lot of Jews in Germany. Although, I am sure that the slogan was most likely developed without knowledge of a Hitler connection.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

I enjoyed the information about how Virginia got its slogan. Neat!

At 7:55 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks Melissa, I actually remember the controversy that happened back then. 1969 was back when hippies were professing free love. It was a bold move by Virginia to use motto.


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