Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ode to Tempo Taschentücher

Berlin, 1929, an early ad
 So for the last two weeks I've had a bad cold on-and-off, so I thought I would do a strange little post about the German version of Kleenex, called "Tempo" (but superior to its American version). Like in English, people reference the thing by the brand name (Kleenex/Tempo) maybe just as often as the generic word "tissue" or "Taschentuch".

A cultural difference (but correct me if I'm wrong): My impression is that in the US, people tend to buy boxed tissues more than the small kind. If you go to a drugstore or grocery store, there is a whole shelf with lots of options for boxed tissues: colored tissues, with lotion, with aloe, etc. But Germans have mastered the pocket tissues. But the pocket sized ones are usually flimsy and cheap in the US, and the German ones are super strong. And, in Germany almost everyone always has a pack of tissues on them, that look like the blue pack below.

It's funny if you think about the cultural meaning of this revolution: from fabric handkerchiefs to paper tissues (diapers, too...). In Germany this brand was introduced in 1929; in the US Kleenex was also being developed and marketed in the mid 1920s. At first it was being used to remove makeup, and then after the 30s it is marketed as a hygiene product, with the slogan: “Don’t Carry a Cold in Your Pocket”.  Below is a similar ad/slogan from Tempo: "Higher Risk of Flu - Tempo, the hygienic tissue. " (here More ads from Spiegel)  So that's the weird little post for you as I sit in bed, recovering with my Tempos. :) Germany isn't the worst place to have a cold...as they also have the best juice (Multivitaminsaft) and Ricola! (Jessica knows what I'm talking about here...)

1 comment:

  1. Auntie MargueriteMarch 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Die Historische Tempo-Werbung-SCA ist wunderbar. Ich habe schnell Dienst mit meine Komputer yetzt, so spiele ich alles! Das ist aber schade dass du den Unwohlsein hast. Ich hoffe alles gut geht!