In the following ad, a trainee German coastguard is shown the equipment, and then left to his own devices. He receives a message from a ship which is sinking, saying "Mayday, mayday, we are sinking", to which the coastguard replies "What are you thinking about?". The ad ends with the Berlitz logo, and the apt slogan "Language for Life" underneath.
The ad is regarded as real by the piece Berlitz had to learn a new language to save its business, an excerpt from "The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business" by Rita Gunther McGrath:
The company has also taken a fresh approach to its brand, using humor to promote the idea of language proficiency. In one viral video with millions of YouTube hits, a member of the German Coast Guard is seen responding to a desperate plea on the radio:
“May Day, May Day, we are sinking!”
“Hallo—Zis is ze German Coast Guard.”
“We’re sinking, we’re sinking!”
“What . . . what are you sinking about?”
The scene cuts immediately to the phrase “Improve Your English,” set against a backdrop of stirring music and the tag line “Berlitz, Language for Life.”
Was this ad created by/for Berlitz Corporation?