KNOWLEDGE BASE Advertising In Germany

The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.


Advertising In Germany


Germany is an attractive market. It has a large consumer base and a healthy economy. It’s typically one of the first markets international companies are interested in expanding into. Before making that decision, it’s important to understand how the German market is unique and the best ways to go to market there.


Digital density

Germany boasts a 91.41% household internet access rate (as of December 2022), ranking among the highest in Europe. High-speed broadband connections (up to 1 Gbps) are widely available, with average download speeds exceeding 150 Mbps. Competition among internet service providers is fierce, leading to affordable prices. Popular plans offer unlimited data for around €25-€50 per month.  While data packages in Germany were historically expensive, prices have declined significantly in recent years. Providers now offer various plans with generous data allowances starting at around €10 per month. The German government has invested heavily in digital infrastructure development, aiming to provide nationwide gigabit internet access by 2025.  

According to an EU Commission report, Germany ranks #5 overall as compared to other EU countries in the uptake of broadband services. They compared overall Connectivity, Human Capital and Skills, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology, and Digital Public Services for each country.


Media market share

Lower Social Media Adoption

Germans as a whole are also concerned about what they say and how they are seen by others, making social posting and influencer marketing something that not everyone is comfortable with doing. That is changing, though. The younger and more tech savvy generations are taking advantage of how they can share their expertise via social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. It does, however, make Germans less likely to use Facebook as a platform to widely share personal information or for business use.


Business is Business

Many businesses block social media and other site access at work as well as limit time spent on mobile phones during working hours. It’s also frowned upon to be using social media during the day, so keep in mind that it could impact your access to prospective customers if social media is a primary strategy.


Media Consumption

Traditional media continues to be strong in Germany, and it’s the primary source for news and entertainment. Germans spend a significant amount of time with traditional media, even with the rise of digital options. In 2023, adults in Germany will spend an average of 31 minutes more per day with traditional media than with digital. Advertising spend is mostly focused on traditional media since that is what Germans consume more of. Relying heavily on influencer or social media marketing in Germany may not be as effective as it is in other countries.


Influencer marketing can be effective if you have a lot of verifiable data proving that your product is significantly better than others options, if you can show how robust your data privacy and safety is, and if you have clear value proposition. It may take longer to develop the best leads and reach consumers, but your extra effort could be rewarded.


Here are some top ads in Germany to help you understand what Germans appreciate.Die 10 besten deutschen Werbespots 2013


Top TV Shows and Stations

Humor in advertising

After polling 30,000 people globally several years ago, Germany was selected as the country with the worst sense of humor.

Germans are known for their pragmatism, efficiency, and technical skills, but not necessarily their humor. However, the key to understand German humor is to understand the language.  

It’s not that the Germans don’t have a sense of humor, it’s that their humor is different and more difficult to understand. Germans enjoy dry humor, location humor where the Northern Germans make fun of Southern Germans, sexy humor, cute humor, sharp and clever jabs at life and they appreciate smart twists on words and clever nuances in language which are difficult if not impossible to translate. We strongly recommend you hire local support to develop any advertising that will resonate in the German market.


Cultural localization for advertising

A major part of creative advertising – and one of the harder aspects to ‘get right’ when localizing – is correctly applying the meaning and interpretation of symbols and cultural norms, also called Semiotics.

Semiotics is the study of signs and their associated interpretation or meaning. It’s the primary way that we understand concepts familiar to us within a culture and an important part of creative advertising and marketing. Having local specialist helping with developing relevant and effective campaigns in new markets is important because  it doesn’t necessarily work to use  images, text, and sounds from one culture to another without changing the meaning.

Looking at examples of advertising that succeeded and failed in the interpretation from global brands will give you a good idea of how localization can play into advertising creative.  


Brand localization

Another aspect of going international to consider is if your brand name, product name, logo, or tagline means something completely different in Germany.

There are many examples of very large companies that forgot to consider this. While it isn’t easy to change your company name, it’s certainly easy to change your product name in a new country and avoid using a tagline that doesn’t make sense or is offensive in Germany.



Many people in Germany shop online and use multiple channels to purchase. Germans first become aware of many products online that they later purchase. Digital advertising campaigns can be effective means to reaching target audiences.

There are many opportunities to reach consumer audiences via traditional media, especially TV, newspapers, radio, and magazines. While these are often costlier, you can target audiences to reach smaller viewer numbers and that will make traditional advertising more affordable


Digital News Report 2020: Overview and Key Findings

Online-Vermarkterkreis (OKV)

KNOWLEDGE BASE Advertising In Germany