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Collapsing New Appliances

Posted by: Jon Fine on December 1, 2005

A pal forwarded these totally amazing and bizarre ads done for German home improvement retailer Hornbach which star Blixa Bargeld, the main guiding force behind long-running industrial band Einsturzende Neubauten.

(Einsturzende Neubauten, in a delightful and culturally resonant touch, means “collapsing new buildings.)

According to Trouser Press, the once-fiercely confrontational Neubauten (who alsmot burned down a club in New York during a concert in 1986) is not exactly new to this kind of thing, having previously scored a Jordache commercial. But while the new ads are enjoyable in and of themselves, they’re also evidence that other countries are far ahead of America when it comes to enveloping the most unregenerate gutter-rat art degenerates into the comforting embrace of the mainstream. (Lest my intent be misunderstood, a glance at my record collection offers ample evidence that I mean this in the best possible sense of “unregenerate gutter-rat art degenerates.”)

It’s not like any ad agency in the US ever took a song Iggy Pop wrote about heroin and made it the throbbing soundtrack to a Carnival Cruise Lines commercial. Oh wait! OK. Well, at least no American company ever used one of the Stooges best and most violent songs to sell sneakers … .oh, never mind. Just don’t miss Bargeld’s subtle and restrained delivery in the Hornbach ads. (Hat tips: John Neilson for the original tip; Mickey Kaus for the punch line formulation.)



The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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