The folks over at Tchibo are looking at this blog

May 9, 2007 at 7:42 am | Posted in Marketing, Viral, Web 2.0 | 9 Comments
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More specifically at a recent post about their Picasso package on special offer. How do I know? The blog stats told me: I had a total of 14 visitors come in via – you won’t be able to access this site, because it’s on their intranet and not accessible from the outside. Which means that somebody from Tchibo found and posted a link to this site in their forums. So let’s see what is going to happen now:

a) NOTHING: If the folks at Tchibo are all cool and down with the web 2.0 , they won’t do anything but secretly laugh up their sleeve for having made it onto the blogosphere. I didn’t exactly praise them for selling off one of the 20th century’s most influential artists as a bargain, but it’s the attention that counts anyway (AND they got a direct link to their sales pages, even if the turnover might be minimal).

b) SOMETHING: If they’re just as anxious as that program director from the European Graduate School (who felt the need to admonish me for “not having done my homework” a while ago when I wrote what I thought about their program) they’ll come up with SOME attempt to control their product communication, even though that’s entirely futile. One can’t have viral marketing without the loss of control, and if that’s what they want, then they should probably switch to the Tupperware marketing concept. Buy only from a selected dealer at your own home.

P.S.: Tchibo is a German coffee chain, but their biggest source of revenue isn’t coffee, but the gifts and household articles which they sell in their shops and online. Once a week, they introduce a new range of themed products, with about four themes on sale at a time – a concept that works pretty well in the themed world of consumer capitalism. I admit that I bought a bag of green plastic crystals from them just a little while ago, because I thought the crystals looked like Superman’s Kryptonite (and who wouldn’t want to have a pocket full of Kryptonite):

Pocket full of kryponite


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  1. Does “Tchibo” actually mean something? It sounds like a kind of dog, like schitzu, only tchibo.?

    I’m going to have the song in my head:

  2. Is Schitzu a common name for a dog? I always associate it with ‘cheabo’, although I realize no native English speaker would use that term. There is a Finnish Band – Kaxi Kimitekaxi (=22) Pistepirkko) – who have a line in one of their post that goes: Why you look so cheabo? (and I take this to be a transmogrification of cheap).

    According to Wikipedia, the name is a combination of Tchilling (surname of one of the founders) and Bohne (=Bean). German coffee chains have a thing for that. Some years ago, Tchibo merged with its main competitor Eduscho, which was created from the name of founder Eduard Schober.

    I am not going to click on that link NOW, as I have no room for other songs in my head right now – my last choir concert coming up tomorrow. Ah, and I guess I also have to work a bit (while I still can;-)

  3. Btw, 13 more visitors came in via the Tchibo forum by 10:30am.

  4. That’s funny. Mabe you should offer those visitors some coffee.

    BTW: I think I have the same blanket shown in the Kryptonite picture. Brought it from Germany. Very fluffy! (came with a monkey, I believe)

  5. You do? That’s pretty cool! Mine did not come with a monkey but if ‘Mary Rose’ (the label) doesn’t lie, then it was exclusively produced for Mary Rose, which is a local company. Meaning that you would have a Vorarlbergian blanket:-)

  6. […] Picasso on special offer – Picasso im Sonderangebot May 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm | In Mail Order, Special Offer, Art Market, Buying Art, Picasso, Fine Art, Sale, Investment, Culture Industry, Art | That’s culture industry at its best! German mail order and coffee house Tchibo has Picasso lithographs on special offer this week: € 400 for one print or €1,000.00 for three. They come with a certificate of authenticity, showing Picasso’s signature (he died in 1973, but who cares?). Is the Picasso family broke or what’s going on here? Ouch! Also, the ‘art work’ is truly ‘abysmal’! TCHIBO STAFF GO THATAWAY […]

  7. Well, I was one from those ordering the lithograph!!
    One week after, I got a very confusing e-mail from Tchibo explaining how they got to lithographs, and saying basically that those are not quite Picasso’s work, but made by Marcel Salinas on a behalf of Picasso’s granddaughter Marina, between 1979 and 1982 and MADE AFTER Picasso’s oils. Needless to say, I canceled the order. Of course, it was naive to believe that one can even get Picasso’s lithograph for that kind of money, even though I wouldn’t expect such a confidence trick from big player like Tchibo is. Further below you can find excerpts from Tchibo’s mail (in German).

    “Die Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann in Düsseldorf, die Tchibo dieses Angebot vermittelt hatte, hat diese Lithographien entdeckt. Sie wurden in den ehemaligen Druckwerkstätten Picassos in Paris hergestellt, 25 Jahre unberührt in einem Lager eines Großhändlers in New York aufbewahrt, um schließlich ihren Weg zu Tchibo zu finden. Lithograph und Drucker war Marcel Salinas, der exklusiv für Pablo Picasso gearbeitet und diese Lithographien – posthum nach Picassos Tod – vom Stein gedruckt hat.”

    “Die für die über Tchibo vertriebenen Lithographien benutzten Steindruckplatten wurden nach dem Druck von 1000 Exemplaren vernichtet, so dass ein Nachdruck der angebotenen Edition durch die eigens von Salinas hergestellten Druckplatten ausgeschlossen ist. Die Signatur Pablo Picassos wurde ebenfalls mit dem Stein gedruckt.”

  8. Wow, that’s quite something! Thanks for sharing your experience with Tchibo – I’ll put up an extra note on today’s post.

  9. […] Investment, Picasso, Stunt, Marcel, Art | I got an interesting comment today on one of my recent Picasso on sale at Tchibo’s posts. Auslaender writes: Well, I was one from those ordering the lithograph!! One week after, I […]

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