The ministry of health’s discriminating perspective on artists in corona times.

The German Ministry of Health apparently has its own idea about the situation of the artists: they lie at home dreaming and lazy on the carpet, fantasizing and enjoying the lavish lockdown compensation.

Künstler in Corona-Zeiten. Artists in Corona Times.
Quelle: Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 05.12.2020. Translation: I want to experience my audience live again, therefore I stick to AHA (keep distance, pay attention to hygiene and – where it gets tight – wear a mask)

Funny, all the musicians, DJs, singers, etc. I’ve talked to tell me something different. Also in the newspapers you could read reports about artists who harvested cucumbers in the summer or other people had to clean other people’s apartments so that they could buy anything to eat. Against this background, the (perhaps well-intentioned) advertisement of the Federal Ministry of Health seems like a sheer mockery.

The picture shows a musician, who is obviously in great shape and is dreamily composing the next song. But maybe he’s just lying there listening to his growling stomach, because he doesn’t earn anything at the moment and therefore can’t buy himself anything to eat. Only the employees of the Ministry of Health or the responsible advertising agency can reveal this secret.

Do artists really work? The MoH might have a different perspective…

Is that the idea of the responsible employees in the ministry: artists are not relevant to the system, do not work properly anyway and are therefore not worth protecting? In my opinion, artists are very much relevant to the system, art is an expression of civilization. Even if perhaps the expression of some art forms does not necessarily correspond to the ideas of elderly ladies and gentlemen. This is always made abundantly clear to me when I discuss my musical hobbies with colleagues. Especially the keyword “Techno” evokes reactions between pitiful devaluation and obvious horror.

But perhaps the explanation is much simpler, the responsible employees have not taken into account my often expressed advice: “it is not the question whether an advertisement can be misunderstood, but how it can be misunderstood”. If I have no idea about a subject or want to address a target group that I do not know, then I ask at least one member of this target group. But obviously the decision makers don’t have much to do with artists, otherwise such a faux pas wouldn’t have happened.

What is particularly sad about this advertisement is that many musicians would support the central statement, but please do not use it in combination with this picture. In Corona times this does not really correspond to the self-image of all artists.

I’m waiting for the next Saturday, let’s see which advertising firecracker is in the newspaper again.

Stay tuned.

More on this topic…

Amazon and the invention of the social image washing machine

Amazon Image Ad. Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung 28.11.2020. Translation: I have not spoken a word of German. When I arrived here from Syria, I did not understand anyone. I had to start from zero. That was hard. But I managed it.
I really always wanted to improve – for myself and for my family. Here at Amazon I have the feeling that I can always develop. I am trusted to teach others, to help others. Being a refugee was very difficult, but now I am an instructor at Amazon.
Mohanad, Mönchengladbach.

On Saturday Amazon gave me a push to write another article about advertisements. Before you continue reading, please take a look at the photo and read the text more carefully. Doesn’t this automatically make you wonder and critically question whether this portrayal of the company as a highly social enterprise is really credible? Overall, this ad is not badly made, but it does leave a slightly irritating impression. Why?

In my opinion, the company has exaggerated a bit too much or has sent the whole issue through a rather pink filter. In my opinion, a very important clue is missing. The cornerstone of almost all careers is an employee’s ability to perform and work as part of a team. Those who produce results and integrate themselves positively into a social environment, rise up. But this is not what this advertisement is about, only the willingness of the employee to improve. This willingness in all honour, but it is only the prerequisite for a career, not the guarantor. Probably the harsh reality would not have fitted the positive presentation of the employee’s personality. But it would have been more honest, because in the perception of the population, American companies tend to stand for a practiced, sometimes hard performance principle.

In addition, the reporting on the company and on Jeff Bezos in recent years has led to Amazon’s rather negative image: monopolist, opponents of trade unions, harsh working conditions, etc. In my opinion, it is precisely this contrast that is responsible for the irritating impression. Therefore it would have been more credible and honest if Amazon had added here that everybody can become something if they really perform.