Kraft and Co. Cash in on Mozart's 250th Anniversary

From Violin-Shaped Sausages to a Bra That Plays Eine Kleine Nachtmusic

By Published on .

Most Popular
In a bizarre mix of kitsch and culture, marketers as big as Kraft Foods and as small as a local butcher are cashing in on Europe's frenzied celebration this year of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The epicenter of the Mozart-products blitz is the legendary composer's birthplace of Salzburg, Austria, but even neighboring countries have been engulfed by everything from Mozart yogurt to violin-shaped sausages. There is even talk of a bra that plays Mozart's "A Little Night Music" when unfastened, but Advertising Age was unable to confirm its existence.

An Austrian dairy, Alpenmilch Salzburg, is marketing Mozart yogurt and a Mozart drink flavored with marzipan, chocolate and nougat under its SalzburgerLand label. After starting in Austria, both dairy products are being sold in neighboring Hungary, the Czech Republic and southern Germany, and distribution may extend to Belgium and the Netherlands. There isn't much advertising but the packaging is heavily Mozartian.

Sausage symphony

In one marketing battle over Mozart-branded meat, a 28-year-old Salzburg butcher named Stefan Fuchs seems to have the edge with an innovative product and Web site. "I dreamed the idea of a Mozart's violin-shaped sausage made of beef and pork with pistachios," Mr. Fuchs said.

His bilingual Web site in German and English ( provides a lengthy Mozart bio and pushes sausage e-commerce. One corner of the home page is dedicated to "The Symphony of the Sausage." Elsewhere he refers to the violin-shaped sausage as "Art in a different form." His online product description includes Mr. Fuchs' optimistic belief that "Mozart would like this sausage, too!"

Mr. Fuchs has found a butcher-partner and hopes that together they can sell their Mozart sausage in neighboring countries and maybe around the world.

Meanwhile, a rival butcher shop called Wiesenbach in Vienna has introduced Mozart beef and pork products packaged with a picture of Mozart and musical notes with the slogan "Pleasure of the palates."

Worldwide appeal

The oldest and most authentic Mozart product of all is the traditional Mozart Ball, or Mozart Kugel, little chocolate-covered balls of marzipan and nougat made in Salzburg since 1890 by a company that is now Kraft Foods' Mirabell.

"We hope to profit from the Mozart 2006 boom," said a spokeswoman at Kraft Foods Mirabell. She declined to discuss sales but noted that the company has increased its sponsorship of the International Mozarteum Foundation, an organization in Salzburg dedicated to all things Mozart.

And of course the Austrian Tourist Office's international ad campaign by Lowe GGK, Vienna, modestly intended to lure up to 5% more tourists to Austria this year, features a big picture of Mozart.

"Mozart became a superstar because his music appeals to everyone, whether he is a music lover or a simple butcher, that's why his music is played around the globe more than any other composer," said Mariusz Jan Demner, a partner at Austria's biggest ad agency Demner Merlicek & Bergmann, Vienna.

Mr. Demner's own agency poked fun at the Mozart mania in a campaign promoting Vienna's annual Festival Week, which this year will consist entirely of music composed by Mozart. The print ad shows a portrait of the composer doctored so it looks like he's rolling his eyes.

"Mozart stands for a perfect world in contrast to terrorism and unemployment, that's the reason for the hype," said Bernd M. Michael, an adviser to Grey Global Germany. "And marketers seize trends to jump on because of the big media coverage. It's less expensive."

In this article: