November 23, 2012

Things used to be better, didn't they?

This is slightly off-topic, but I think it's entertaining enough to warrant a post.

A few days ago, my uncle gave me a present. It's a book to celebrate the 50th birthday of the German pharmaceutical company Madaus, which is nowadays part of Rottapharm-Madaus. There is no publication date in the book, but since Madaus was founded in 1919, it's probably from 1969.

It must have cost Madaus a bundle to publish, as it's printed on very high-quality paper and contains lost of cardboard pop-outs and special effects. To see what I mean by that, have a look at the video below.

What struck me even more is how likable the company comes across. In any case, more likable than pharma companies do in their marketing material today. The most obvious difference is the humour, which is very irreverent for corporate promotional material. So much so that at first I suspected that the book is a spoof, but for that it's way too elaborate.

For example, a pig is dissected next to someone counting piles of money, and the caption reads: "Not only the piggy bank generates money when dissected properly".

Very approximate translation: "He who is a good shepherd, feeds his animals (and turns them into cash)". The green stuff is real fake grass
Translation: "Not only the piggy bank generates money when dissected properly"

Genius at work

Translation: "We live from what we do". And not too badly either, apparently
Lab mice. The squeaky sound effect is built into the book.

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