brand eins in January (2015)

So what to do on Christmas Eve? Well, you wait for the presents. And you read “brand eins”. And, of course, you read in next year’s first edition, even though you are not yet finished with the December 2014 edition. Said edition was titled “Let Them Burst” – and the focal point “pleasure” was not the only thing I enjoyed about it.

Let me say it up front: the new “brand eins” titled YOU and focussing on self-determination gave me a precious Christmas Eve afternoon. It is a truly great affair. Again, I am absolutely fascinated about the editorial part.

Brand eins probably has now become too high-quality. And others, too, found out about it. This might be good news for “brand eins” with respect to business, but it has its disadvantages.

The amount of adverts comes as a surprise to me. And if something is good quality, then adverts will easily find their way towards it. Just think of the 2nd Channel of Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bayern2). I have to listen to ever more minutes of advertising. In fact, I already wonder if it is a good idea to no longer listen to Channel-2 at all and instead “survive on” podcasts only.

Basically, the Bayerischer Rundfunk is publicly financed, isn’t it? Consequently, you would think it could do without advertising in its high-quality programs. I gladly pay my GEZ fees for those.

You can probably not compare this with “brand eins”. The editorial department is financed by advertising. Even if I find this a pity, I cannot change it. Consequently, the first thing I do is get rid of all this extra material. Ever since I started reading the SZ exclusively in its digital version, I lack experience in this field. It takes quite some time, but eventually it is done.

Now my floor is littered with the Austrians wishing to invite me for a skiing vacation (I know how well Austria Tourismus is doing with “incoming operations”). Next to it lie the Saxons. They try to tell me that the future comes from Saxony, which we know to be nonsense. “The Economist” is sitting next to it and also wants to recruit me. The same is true for a Wellness Fond called ÖKOVISION who want me to invest. However, I neither wish to nor will do so.

But you also get adverts that will not leave the magazine if you just give it a shaking, because they has been pinned to the rest of the magazine. This treacherous method is used by LEXWARE – a software nobody will ever need.

Inside the magazine, too, you will find no end of adverts. The first two pages, as well as the rear page are filed by two luxury clockmaker labels: PATEK PHILLIPE and IWC Schaffhausen. Starting from the front, the next advert you will find is by Bethmann Bank (ABN AMRO), before RIMOWA wants to sell its nice suitcases. Microsoft even goes so far as to propose turning me from car-park attendant to concern boss (make it happen).

Immediately after that, a sinister-looking gentleman from is planning a COMING OUT (THERE IS A SMALL BANKER IN EACH OF US. NOW IS THE TIME …). Occhio wants to supply me with perfect light. I am to buy a blue FORD FOCUS including parking assistance and to listen to music “wireless” with harman/kardon.

Shortly before the focal point of the magazine, I am asked to drive Porsche on four pages. Incidentally, Porsche wishes to create excitement inside me, because that is their basic duty (???). Immediately after Porsche, you will find vitra. (including the full stop), wishing to sell a “Soft Pad Chair EA 208″. I turn the pages and it gets even worse: two federal ministries (Employment and Social Affairs, Business and Energy, along with the BfA) want to do an Expert Check. Unbelievable!

Mind you, I am now only on page 40 of 162. I fear the worst, but will not give up: consequently, I continue searching for adverts.

And again I am supposed to buy office chairs. From interstuhl. And the chair is called SILVER and said to be the CHAIR OF CHAIRS. After a short break, you get DKMS who want to “QUICKLY SAVE LIVES”. They think it is high time that I, along with my company, do something against leukaemia. After this, you get two adverts for a “brand eins” event (along with TAGESSPIEGEL, the lobby for children and dm) and for a “brand eins” publication.

And here comes the Airport Düsseldorf with “Düsseldorf Airport Advertising”. What a blessing that they only use the third part of a page (up until now, all adverts took one entire page or more). Later, I also find rather unassuming vertical adverts over a third of a page by PSYCHOLOGIE HEUTE and the “branding institute – wien”.

I find no more adverts at the moment: an entire series of pages is totally advert-free and only consist of text and pictures. Yet this series ends with page 87: the Handelsblatt wants to sell a digital passport (again occupying an entire page).

A few pages later, I am supposed to read H.O.M.E, because they say they are at home in modern life (another full page advert). On reaching page 92, I am confronted with the Spiegel (full page) offering “History” and “THE BIBLE” (THE MOST POWERFUL BOOK OF THE WORLD). And, of course, I always can get everything as APP. Only one page on – again full-page – SAT.1 tries to make me happy with “ONLY LOVE COUNTS”. As often before, the letters are extremely huge.

When I finally reach page 98/99, I find the aforementioned Lexware advert which is pinned to the magazine. I wonder if I should remove it. But the process might damage the entire magazine. So I continue.

Next, I arrive at classified and self-advertising. Actually, after that I get an advert-free zone up until page 109. When I reach page 110, the “Neue Züricher Zeitung” – which in fact I appreciate – tells me that there is something like a Swiss perspective. After only one other turn of the page, “domus” assaults me as “the ICON among the ARCHITECTURAL MAGZINES – now in German with local articles”. Wow!

On page 117, they want to make me the “star of festive lamps” (Frankfurt Fair) and, a little later, I am asked to read “Stern” (full-page). Well, that is not what I want. On the opposite side of the same page, also full-length, you get ramp with AUTO.CULTURE.MAGAZINE. asking if I am “KEEN ON AUTO CULTURE”. Well. Cars and culture – basically this is a contradiction per se.

I am still not willing to give up my search for adverts in this magazine and will be cruelly punished for my perseverance. On the next page, “Die Welt” advertises with the (unspeakable) slogans: “the world belongs to those who swim against the current on the internet, as well” and “AND THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS”. Can it get worse than that?

The answer is: yes – because here comes ONSCREEN with “boredom was yesterday. Today we have ONSCREEN.” Outch – that hurts! And worse is coming. Because on page 138, 7 (PRO?) adverts with “BEAT RAAB”, calling me with “WE LOVE TO ENTERTAIN YOU”. Well, now is the time to admit knock out and activate the “ignore adverts filter”.

Now I wonder if it might not be a good idea to take the digital version of “brand eins” in the future. Basically, I have no problem with paying the great work the editors are doing. But such an amount of stupidity on high-gloss paper actually makes me physically sick. Not just because of the gigantic waste. I find it truly a pity that the newspapers need such stupid indirection in order to pay their employees.

And now the time has come for opening all those presents.

(Translated by EG)


I would like to apologize to “brand eins” and its team for my critical comments on their magazine. But then, due to the prevailing “journalism”, I never even touch any of the other business magazines.

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