The Germans have a message for you, and let’s just say it doesn’t beat around the bush.
Since masks became the the universal symbol for the pandemic, there has been controversy in communities around the world about whether or not they should be worn. This controversy has been brought about by a group of people who have earned themselves the title of ‘anti-maskers’, and their argument is that wearing a mask infringes upon their civil rights, is incredibly unnecessary and doesn’t work, or they straight up just don’t like it.
As you can imagine, they really grind the gears of pro-maskers. Or, I should say, compliant people who follow the rules in a global pandemic.
This has gotten to be such a big divide that hundreds of brands around the world have altered their marketing to encourage people to wear masks to save lives. Most recently, an ad released by Visit Berlin has gotten people talking due to their unapologetic honesty.
The ad, which originally appeared in their local newspaper, shows an elderly woman who is wearing a mask and giving the middle finger to the camera. The text on the photo reads ‘Wir halten die Corona-Regeln ein’, which translates to ‘the raised index finger for all those without a mask.’ Straight to the point, I respect it.
As you probably could have predicted, the aim of the poster is to ‘highlight the importance of wearing a mask in order to protect the older members of society,’ and it’s something the city takes very seriously. In an interview with the BBC, a spokesperson for Visit Berlin said “most Berliners and our guests respect and follow the corona rules but some people don’t, [risking] the lives of older people and people from the at-risk community. We wanted to give attention to this problem, and for this reason we have chosen this provocative motif.”
The spokesperson further explained that the ad fits perfectly with the personality of those living in Berlin, as they are known for their ‘direct communication.’ Yeah, we got that.
Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, I think we can mutually agree that Berlin’s message is gutsy and admirable. It may feel offensive to some, but when you put that mask on, remember you’re doing it for this lady who is flipping you off, not yourself. She’s watching you.