Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for stories with Nazi villains in them: whether it’s historical accounts of Hitler’s Third Reich and WWII, or Norwegian Nazis in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole detective thrillers — even Mel Brooks’ silly “Springtime for Hitler” musical in “The Producers.”
And if you’ve read this blog for a while, then you know that I am not fond of white chocolate. So when I heard about an Italian candy company’s quickly aborted ad campaign in Germany this summer amid cries of racism, xenophobia & right-wing extremism, I just had to tell somebody.
According to UPI, Ferrero (best known in the States for their ubiquitous Christmas commercials for hazelnut bonbons) decided to promote its white chocolates in Germany using a political-campaign rally theme.
Granted, white chocolate is going to be a tough sell in the country with the 2nd-highest level of chocolate consumption in the world, but swiping from Goebbels’ propaganda playbook?
Yes White Can.
At least that’s what the commercial says. I think they were aiming to invoke Obama’s “Yes We Can” campaign slogan, but having an audience of Caucasian youths waving “Yes Weiss Can” banners while clapping and chanting looks more like a Hitler Youth rally to me.
Adding to the nutty atmosphere is the orator, a puffy box that substitutes a smiley fake-warm tone for the barking-Hitler style of “Triumph of the Will,” but manages to sound sinister all the same. Like the best portrayals of Nazi villians where they juxtapose scenes of their loving family life with cold-blooded acts and deeds against anyone they deem “unpure,” this box sounds scary nice.
See for yourself in this clip that I can’t believe hasn’t been pulled from YouTube yet:
White Nuts Stay.
My German is rusty, so I can’t translate the narration, but the text on the end banner reads: Germany chooses White. White Ferrero Little Kisses forever! However, like Hitler’s prediction that his Third Reich would last a thousand years, only to be stopped at 12 (which probably felt like 1,000 to most people), this commercial got pulled quickly.
Its Facebook page remains, reminding me of another slogan in this bad-taste ad: “Weiss Nuss Bleiben.”
It seems that they do.