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:

Wir glauben an

das Gute in der

Schoko­lade

(We believe in

The Good in

Choco­late)


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, www​.quotez​.net/​g​e​rman/…

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 www​.ritter​-sport​.de/bl…. (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! 😀

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 11.441. 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!

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