Brand identity has scored a victory against over-sensitivity after a Swiss court ruled in favour of popular drink Jaegermeister’s logo featuring a deer with a beaming cross between its antlers.
The aperitif, famed as a chaser or “shot” the world over, has had the same logo since 1935 and is generally thought to have medicinal properties for its cough syrup-like taste.
Such is its popularity that the stag with its religious iconography, reminiscent of Catholicism’s medieval Crusades, has become well used for cross-marketing by various sectors, from cosmetics to mobile phones and entertainment.
However, in a bid to protect its brand from being over-used, Jaegermeister turned to Switzerland’s patent office, only to find itself spurned on the grounds that it can’t be granted protection because Christians might be offended by its logo.
But on Monday the country’s Federal Administrative Court ruled that the brand had been used for so long that it’s unlikely to offend Christian sensibilities if it hadn’t done so by now.
Mention was also made of the actual meaning of the logo, based as it is on the legend of Hubertus, patron saint of hunters, who converted to Christianity after he apparently came across a magnificent cross that was glowing as it hovered above a stag’s head. – Eugene Goddard