One German Spa's Advertising Strategy: Just Add Kristallnacht

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 5 2013 5:18 PM

One German Spa's Advertising Strategy: Just Add Kristallnacht

146063476
Using Kristallnacht to sell spa treatments is a bad idea.

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Matthew Yglesias is on vacation.

Using an infamous atrocity as a marketing peg never works. Holidays? Of course. What would Presidents’ Day be without discounted mattress sales? But, days commemorating tragic and scarring events are best left alone. 

Advertisement

This time, the offending company is a German health spa, which suggested on its website that would-be customers come and enjoy a “long romantic Kristall-nacht” at the spa on—of all days—the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The day commemorates the Nov. 9, 1938 Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” marking a brutal Nazi wave of violence against German Jews that targeted Jewish businesses, ransacked Jewish homes, and resulted in the burning of synagogues.

The spa denies that the use of the word was intentional and apologized for the ad on its Facebook page. The owners issued a statement on Monday, the Jewish Daily Forward reports, that “apologized for their ‘insensitive naming of this event,’ which was ‘extremely inappropriate.’ They explained that they frequently tag part of their name, ‘Kristall,’ onto their events.” The spa is called Kristall Sauna-Wellnesspark. But whether or not the timing of the ad was intentional, the disastrous attempt at wordplay is much harder to explain away.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?