Adolf Hitler Sex Ad

Occasionally you come across commerials that may have seemed like a good idea at the writing and production phase, but in practice the finished product doesn’t really connect with the audience.

The following ad for AIDS awareness, due to start screening in Germany from next week,  is meant to shock the audience. It shows a couple having sex. The soft focus, dim lighting and editing deliberately prevent the viewers from seeing the faces of the participants until the very end.

Then, the  ‘shocking’ revelation: we see that the male is, in fact, Adolf Hitler. The link is that having unprotected sex is like sleeping with a mass murderer. (?????). The problem is that this conceptual leap isn’t made clear.

Also, when we do see Hitler’s face, it’s just funny, in part because the modern music track disconnects the Hitler figure from any historical context and makes it seem as if the girl has been picked up by a bloke dressed as Adolf at a fancy dress party.

What I’m not sure about, however, is the power of Hitler’s face in the German social imaginary. I do know that many of the signs and symbols of the Nazi era are banned, but I don’t know if Hitler is a figure who haunts the nightmares of German children. If he does, then the ad may be more effective than I think.

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