Hornet’s Nest

2013

 

Hornet’s Nest is an object, consisting of a wasp’s nest mounted under a bell jar, on which texts have been engraved.

 

In 2012, the chocolate company Ritter Sport conducted a large international online advertising campaign for which the public might select slogans for their products. In Germany, the following slogan won with 61% of the near 4,000 votes:

I saw the large-format poster for Ritter Sport chocolate for the first time at the Cologne Central Railway Station on 13th April 2013. This advertising hype, reminiscent of a frequently quoted passage by Anne Frank, certainly caught my attention:

It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
Saturday, 15th July 1944, second sentence of entry on p. 237, "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" Bantam Books: New York. 1993, http://www.quotez.net/german/anne_frank.htm

The text engraved on the bell jar of Hornet’s Nest reads as follows:

Wir glauben an
das Gute in der
Schokolade

Ritter Sport 2012

                       weil ich noch immer
                       an das Gute im
                       Menschen glaube.

                       Anne Frank 1944

Karola Fings, the assistant Director of the Nazi Documentation Centre in Cologne, presented the wasp’s nest to me in June of 2011, when I was visiting, to help in the garden, at her weekend house, outside Cologne. She had discovered the nest, so similar in appearance to a hornet’s nest, in the eaves of the “datsha”, which she and her husband were renovating.

The idiom “a hornet’s nest” (in German “Wespennest” – wasp’s nest) describes a highly contentious situation, as is the Ritter Sport advertising campaign of 2013, in which the most commonly quoted words of Anne Frank have been profaned; Frank, the Jewish diarist, died of typhus aged 15 years, in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp March 1945.

Frank was a teenager, who had expressed words of faith in the German people despite the fact that she was being starved to death in a German death camp. An advertisement for chocolate mimicking her statement is therefore particularly crass. How can the Ritter Sport Company have overlooked this discrediting? Is it plausible that they have acted in good faith? Thousands, who voted for the aforementioned slogan in Germany, were possibly of a younger generation, distanced to the events of the Holocaust by nearly 70 years but such ignorance still amazes - at a time where neo-Nazism is on the rise in Germany again, one would hope that the public were more vigilant.

 

***

 

The advertisement campaign celebrated Ritter Sport’s 100-year jubilee. Many Germans, who were obviously also of the suggested association, placed the following comments on the website blog http://www.ritter-sport.de/blog/2012/11/08/letzte-chance-ritter-sport-plakatvoting/. (Translation from German by TU):

Rebekka says 8th November 2012 at 11.37 - you are amazing… the best chocolate and to top it the best slogans!!! You are sweetening uni at the moment;-)

Biscuit Eater says 8th November 2012 at 11.38 - I buy the chocolate even if the ads don’t do anything for me. I know what’s good ;)

Whatcha says 8th November 2012 at 11.38 - Very catchy slogans – short, crisp and delicious

Esther A. says 8th November 2012 at 11.39 - Wow, the slogans are all so good! Making a decision was difficult! And: now I’m hungry for Ritter Sport! :D

Regine says 8th November 2012 at 11.41 - Chocolate makes you soooo happy! Especially Ritter Sport chocolate.

Christian Kravanja says 8th November 2012 at 11.42 - I like it when your posters have a certain linguistic joke! There are some good ones there, I voted for them straight away!

Maria says 8th November 2012 at 11.43 - Purely yummy whichever you eat, whichever slogan

Michaela says 8th November 2012 at 11.43 - Ritter Sport is right always, everywhere and for any occasion.

tina says 8th November 2012 at 11.43 - what can I add to that? Super chocolate :-))))))))))) super posters
 
PeterP says 8th November 2012 at 11.44 – The choice was not easy. Taste-wise they are unparalleled, one would like to eat all of them, forget oneself in chocolate dreams, stuff one’s mouth, fall in love with coconut, eat the small varieties, teach children the history of chocolate, sink into the sofa with mousse, nuts and full-cream milk, call over friends to feast and nosh and I think – snacking is what I want to give as presents for Christmas!

Jenny says 8th November 2012 at 11.44 – 1. We believe in The Good in Chocolate - says more to me than the other slogan! 2. Giving the greatest pleasure from the earliest age – that is really what I feel, the little bars give great pleasure! :-) 3. The most difficult thing about the 250 g bars is to resist them. It’s funnier than the other slogan. 4. We’ve got your taste. Best wishes. I like that best. 5. Coconutty – funny wordplay. 6. Don’t stand too close to the platform edge – they taste delicious. That was the funniest slogan. 7. Yoghurt – it’s funnier, I prefer the poster design and I prefer choc with yoghurt to cocoa mousse.

nicky says 8th November 2012 at 11.44 – ritter sport is simply the best in chocolate. I love to eat alp milk chocolate together with a glass of milk:-) I still like the posters a lot :-)br />
Heike says 8th November 2012 at 11.46 – Ritter Sport has been part of my life since I was a child, first in the favourite “West Packet” packaging, mostly for Christmas and later on all the year round – now and again “differently” delicious!

stefanie says 8th November 2012 at 11.46 – now at last a “hot” chocolate in your hand.

Birgit Brecht says 8th November 2012 at 11.48 – Ritter Sport – Really GOOD!!!

Lisa says 8th November 2012 at 11.49 – Short but informative slogans with beautifully illustrated posters. Just a perfect combination! :)

ursula lethen says 8th November 2012 at 11.50 – I found the voting great because customers for a change, also take part in advertising, for a change,.

Daniel says 8th November 2012 at 11.51 – …super ad for super chocolate

Matthias says 8th November 2012 at 11.51 – I grew up with you (Ritter Sport) and I wouldn’t want to do without. Hello to the next-door town (Waldenbuch)

Amelie says 8th November 2012 at 11.57 – I always find Ritter Sport advert, a nice and colourful change, in railway stations especially :-)

Ünal Aydin says 8th November 2012 at 11.58 – Great slogans – I voted for all of them

Tommy says 8th November 2012 at 11.58 – A good and reliable companion in every situation. Thanks for being there.

Carmen2401 says 8th November 2012 at 11.58 – The slogan about the falling down on a station platform (of pieces of chocolate) is genius, I really had to grin at the thought ;-). One way or another I’ve been amazed at the amount of new varieties you think up, year after year and each one is more delicious and unusual that the last! There are few companies that offer such a diversified assortment, respect! Keep it up!

Carmen says 8th November 2012 at 11.58 – I eat Ritter Sport… Because all the sorts are irresistible…

Carmen says 8th November 2012 at 11.59 – Ritter Sport is the best sport!!

Dominic Baron says 8th November 2012 at 11.59 – greeeeat quality in square!xD

Pampolina says 8th November 2012 at 12.00 – with ritter sport there is always something for everybody – once a day or even more often – you can also share –

Christian Steinmetz says 8th November 2012 at 12.02 – No. 12 – voting ended :) Just managed to join in :)

Angelika Beuster says 8th November 2012 at 12.04 – Ritter Sport ads are simply the best!!!

Tina says 8th November 2012 at 12.05 – hmmmm… just delicious! …and the coconut chocolate… just coconutty!!

Eva says 8th November 2012 at 12.07 – After so much work voting I need reinforcement – whole nuts!

Christian says 8th November 2012 at 12.10 – Amazing slogans – mouth watering, not just what you see

Veronika says 8th November 2012 at 12.11 – There’s no better chocolate than Ritter Sport

Jürgen says 8th November 2012 at 12.28 – I just can’t resist

Rebecca Schmitt says 8th November 2012 at 12.40 – Ritter Sport is simply the best chocolate. Just sooooo many varieties in taste… keep it up!!!

Christa says 8th November 2012 at 12.40 – Ritter Sport a square piece of heaven!

Margit Wehner says 8th November 2012 at 12.40 – I’m probably too late for the chocolate lottery, but I voted anyway.

christiane Plogradt says 8th November 2012 at 12.51 – the best chocolate that exists…

melanie says 8th November 2012 at 12.51 – We believe in The Good in Chocolate fits exactly because its true. Feeling good is part of it because chocolate makes you happy. Oh dear, I think I’m too late. Oh well, I’m voting anyway.

Sandra Millbrett says 8th November 2012 at 13.24 – All the slogans are just great. You’d do best to just enjoy a bar of Ritter Sport and have a gut reaction

Baerbel52 says 8th November 2012 at 13.43 – The Good in Chocolate

Janine Märtens says 8th November 2012 at 13.51 – cocooooonutttttttttty… Ritter Sport is simply statistically squared – Nothing can compare :)

verena says 8th November 2012 at 14.15 –  they’re simply delicious! ;-)


Kally says 8th November 2012 at 14.31 – Coconutty is my absolute favourite! Simple and catchy! Can’t wait to see the poster on Hamburg main station and grin.

Ludwig Denich says 8th November 2012 at 15.05 – …if only I could stop…

Cristina says 8th November 2012 at 15.11 – 
Ritter Sport – simply addictive!