Global Politics

Brilliant Ads Help Explain the Rise of AfD in Germany

A German reader who does not support the AfD emailed some political ads that help explain the party's rise.

One recent poll placed AfD in second place in German politics as support for SPD is at record lows. Alexander, a German reader sent in some ads with english translations.

The feature images translates as "Traditional? We like it that way! Trust Yourself Germany."

Alexander writes:


Here are some typical Afd posters. They illustrate the brilliant marketing of the AfD.

I stand by my observation that the AfD leadership is composed of misfits and cranks. However, their marketing people were sophisticated and successfully positioned the AfD as a party of stability. The legitimate parties failed completely in their attempt to brand the AfD as radical bomb throwers.

Note, in German political campaigns, these posters are everywhere. The AfD posters were changed relatively often with definite marketing strategy determine the change and timing in each poster.


Comments beneath each image are from Alex.

Franz Josef Strauß would vote AfD

These posters appeared in Bavaria a week before the Election. “Franz Josef Strauß would vote AfD”. Franz Josef Strauß was the epic CSU party leader of the 1960-80s. He is revered by all Bavarians. This would be equivalent to the US Democrats saying “Ronald Reagan would vote for Hillary”. Preposterous? Not if the mental groundwork was laid during the campaign that the AfD is the party of stability and prosperity.

Targeting the Gay Vote

My Partner and I do not value acquaintances with Muslim Immigrants who say our love is a death sentence

Rainbow of Diversity

Rainbow of Diversity ? We already have it.” These are folk costumes of various Southern German regions

I Vote AfD

I vote Afd because I know what Islam can mean if we do not watch out. My German friends please let us protect our home, Berlin

It’s subtlety suggested that the hipster photo quoted is a muslim Turk.


Burka ? I think a Burgundy is more my style.”

Sophie Scholl

“Sophie Scholl would vote Afd” There were versions of this with a photo of Sophie and a powerful quote.

Mish Comments

Sophie Scholl was an anti-Nazi political activist within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.

She was convicted of treason for distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich along with her brother Hans. Both were executed by guillotine. Since the 1970s, Scholl has been extensively commemorated for her anti-Nazi resistance work.

I am not from Germany, but this seems like a powerful campaign tactic given that AfD is accused of neo-Nazi ties.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

20 Responses

  • Yancey_Ward

    Feb 22, 2018

    The SpD is sewing the seeds of its destruction by entering into these coalitions with Merkel. The voters of the SpD didn't go to the polls to reelect Merkel- they voted to be in opposition to Merkel.

  • caradoc-again

    Feb 22, 2018

    The AfD will be same old same old unless they show they wil.

  • caradoc-again

    Feb 22, 2018

    they will back off Made on support vs German status quo. Nothing will change.

  • caradoc-again

    Feb 22, 2018

    back off Macron support vs German status quo stance.

  • brainy

    Feb 22, 2018

    (I am from Germany) I think this whole "power" of the AFD is misunderstood by most. The success of the AfD is not really "theirs" --- in the end - they are the same kind of idiots - as the established parties - get them into power - and nothing would change. The MAIN point of the rise of the AfD is actually: People are fed up with the existing politicians - esp. this leftist crap about gender-policy, no-muslim/immigrant-criticism/political-correctness etc. - leftist crap. (or more correctly: cultural-marxist ideas) So more generally - the AfD is just an easy-to-access destination for those who run away from the leftist ideas. And the ads - if you see - are targeting exactly just the cultural-marxism points. but intellectually - all the AfD-personell - is just as stupid/lazy/greedy/corrupt - as every other politician ... so yeah - funny to observe - but I'm not really expecting usefull change ...

  • killben

    Feb 22, 2018

    While good marketing is needed (and this is smart work indeed) it is not sufficient. As brainy says people are fed up with the existing bunch of crooks oh sorry politicians and if given a chance will get rid of them pronto. Trump is an example. His only qualification was he was anti-establishment. We might go from frying pan to fire (by picking a wrong guy) but then anything might be better than the career politicians (ALL OVER THE WORLD) that we are saddled with presently. I am all for getting rid of the entire bunch. Will we get a better set is a difficult question to answer but then we have to start somewhere.

  • SweetKenny

    Feb 22, 2018

    People don’t change, just their stories.

  • caradoc-again

    Feb 22, 2018

    No vision, none are painting future vistas of improved conditions for ordinary indigenous people. Same old, same old. Boredom sets in, change is demanded. The German in particular are some of the most financially repressed in the EU even though the most economically successful. The questions begin to be asked as the population wakes up. No political party has the answer so people look to one that is new that can't be blamed for the current feelings even though the new will be no better.

  • whirlaway

    Feb 22, 2018

    Neoconservatism has created the refugee crisis. And neoliberalism is threatening people's economic well-being (in Europe; in the US the people started getting screwed a long time ago). The only thing the so-called left has that will not anger their corporate masters is social issues like marriage, gender politics, political correctness and in the US, abortion. Other than that both the "left" and the right are both actually right-wing and both are neoconservative as well. The result is people either go for left-wing populists like Sanders and Corbyn or right-wing populists like Trump and AfD etc. The future is populism of one kind or the other. Take your pick!

  • AWC

    Feb 22, 2018

    Edward Bernays would be impressed.

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