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How An Ad Agency Responded To The Return Of “Mein Kampf” In Germany

The campaign featured 11 activists telling their stories of struggle against racism.

How An Ad Agency Responded To The Return Of “Mein Kampf” In Germany

After seventy years, it’s legal once more to publish Mein Kampf in Germany. The copyright for the book expired in 2015, which ended the ban on publication. An academic edition of the book was published earlier this year, and even with a price tag of €59, it quickly sold through four printings.

That’s obviously troubling in a country with a history like Germany’s, and especially when the current political climate in Europe has led to renewed fears of fascism taking hold. But banning books rarely works as a long-term solution, and ad agency Ogilvy & Mather attempted a more creative way to take on Mein Kampf–by hijacking the news cycle with a book called Mein Kampf Against Racism.

In the book, 11 anti-racist activists in Germany tell their stories of struggling against racism by spending decades removing Nazi graffiti, by protesting neo-Nazis, by taking in Muslim refugees, and more.

In its case study video outlining the campaign for the book, Ogilvy & Mather show off how they mimicked the look of Mein Kampf to tell stories that spoke out against its sentiments, and offered a powerful counterpoint to stories about how Germans were flocking to buy up Hitler’s autobiography as a result. Case study videos from ad agencies aren’t always the most compelling thing to watch, but when the case being studied is as fascinating as this one, it’s definitely worth your time.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.