Telefunken commercial Telefunken commercial

Telefunken commercial

I have no idea what’s being said — but who cares? This is the coolest Telefunken thing I’ve ever seen!

(Thanks, Mike Nickel)

  • Fuzzy Dunlop

    Telefunken really does have the most musical condoms.

  • I don’t know – radio components… Vacuum tubes? Something like that.

    Dig the fashionably racist black tubes for the jazz. Wow.

  • doug holverson

    Tubes rule!

  • “It looks just like a Telefunken U-47…”

    -Frank Zappa
    ‘Crew Slut’
    Joe’s Garage, Act I

  • Patrick

    Haha, musical condoms! Nice one!
    Alright, for all those who don’t understand German, here is my translation:

    Next we’ll hear the famous top C! Now! Bravo, bravo! Almost like Caruso! We must record this extra carefully. The precious sound is committed gently to the antenna which puts it carefully on the wave to the receiver. And here comes the disaster! What is a wonderful radio good for, if it has worn out, croaky tubes? The beautiful sound is despicably mutilated. And what comes out of the speaker – oh dear! Don’t worry though! Your radio is going to sound pleasantly again with new Telefunken tubes. Out with those! And now, listening to the radio will be a pleasure again. One new Telefunken tube is often enough to make the sound clear again. Even the top C sounds brilliantly with new Telefunken tubes. Let your retailer test your radio. Perhaps, you should rejuvenate it, too – with new Telefunken tubes!

  • Just in case you’re interested, this is what the voice-over narrator says:

    Next we hear the famous “high C”; Now!
    Bravo, bravo, almost like Caruso!
    We have to record that especially tenderly.
    The precious sound is carefully entrusted to the antenna that puts it carefully “on the wave” for reception.
    And now, catastrophe sets in: what’s the use of a wonderful radio when it’s full of consumed, hoarse tubes [radio valves]?
    The beautiful sound is miserably mutilated and what’s coming out of the loudspeaker eventually, oh dear…
    But don’t worry! Your radio’s is going to be gracefully sounding again with new Telefunken tubes.
    Out with those! [to the old tubes]
    And now, listening to the radio is a pleasure again.
    Often, only one new Telefunken tube is enough [the violin guy] and the sound gets resonant and clear again.
    Also the “high C” appears brilliant with new Telefunken tubes.
    Have your unit checked by a specialty retailer – maybe you too should rejuvenate it with the help of new Telefunken tubes!

  • The meaning is more or less (not 100% literally):

    “Ah, what a great tone, just like Caruso – this needs to be handled with care. Transmit it thoroughly!

    But what good is caring if at the end the radio’s tubes are old and grumpy making the tone sound rough?

    Get new Telefunken tubes – and listening to the Radio is a delight again! Just ask your local ‘Radio technician’ to check your Radio!”

    Thanks for posting this nice little commercial!

  • Peter Leisetreter

    I care.

    This is a commercial for “Telefunken Röhren” (
    The tenor in the beginning performs a top C (At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to two Fs above middle C = The note then starting at 0:13 is tenderly recorded and gently send to a radio which has worn out vacuum tubes (the condom look-alikes 0:38). The tubes are exhausted and hoarse and pitifully mutilate the note. “But don’t worry your radio can sound gracefully again through new Telefunken vacuum tubes.” 0:55. The new tubes send the old ones right into the garbage can (Müll). 1:01 and as a result listening to the radio will become a pleasure again. Often one new vacuum tube is enough for an again wonderful sound 1:20 and a bright and happy top C 1:35. Everyone should think about new Telefunken vacuum tubes (= neue Telefunken-Röhren) 1:49.

    Maybe this was a little bit helpful and hopefully also understandable :)

  • Sweet! Somebody get a print of this over to Thunderbean!

  • haha…
    in a nutshell: “when you have the perfect tone/recording you need the best playback-> telefunken valves/tubes!”

  • s porridge

    Automated translation of the summary at YouTube: “historic advertising for Telefunken radio tubes out of the ’50’s.”

    Surprised this didn’t show up on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

  • Bugsmer

    Is THAT what they’re supposed to be? They have a very interesting way of promoting their product. What happens when all the kids watching the commercial ask for one?

  • To revned:

    With leather? Heh heh….
    I find it interesting how even though the visuals have such a great flair to them the audio when translated is so verbose. It’s like what happens when you translate Ichiro Suzuki’s trash talk into English.

  • LOL Telefunken should definitely sell prophylactics too! It’s all about getting the clearest and most potent top C notes, right?? :-P

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Germany had the most interesting ads for that era. Many products often had ads featuring mascot characters of sorts and descriptive messages about the use or reasons for these products (since there was a law at the time forbidding them from doing ‘comparative advertising’ I think).

  • What era was this made in? 30’s, 40’s or 50’s?

  • Matthew K Sharp

    Sigh – I’m feeling old now, I knew they were valves as soon as I saw them…

    But what a great ad. It gets its entire message across even when you can’t understand the voiceover; and it’s got humour, pathos, personality and hot jazz all in the space of two minutes. Sehr gut!

  • An overview about early animated german advertising you’ll find here:

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Thanks for the link slowtiger, I’ve seen that one already!

  • Steve Burstein

    This must be by Hans Fischerkoesen.

  • Duane Fulk

    I bought a Telefunken reel-to-reel tape recorder in Italy in 1966.
    I was in the navy, took it aboard ship and started to record all my buddies rock and roll records but it played them all back at a slow speed. What??? I finally learned I had to slip a small, black rubber belt, inside the recorder, down onto a second groove on one of the turnstiles for it to work on the U.S. electric system.
    Fine machine – it still worked about 10 years ago.

  • nick kent

    I’m curious myself as to the date. For what it’s worth they are still legendary for their high quality tubes and the higher end equipment designs that use them. Certainly in pro audio the U-47 (tube based) microphone that Zappa mentions is still revered as one of the best mics available regardless of it being a 60 year old design. Oh and a p.s. to Duane Fulk, Europe uses 220-240 volts 50Hz electrical power for all their equipment.

  • Very fortunatley timed discovery for me. I gave a program about the 60th anniversary of the birth of RCA’s 45 RPM to my radio club. Among other items I displayed a very old elegant Capitol/Telefunken boxed set of classical 45s AND an old bare Telefunken magnetic dictation floppy disk which resembled a slightly undersized 45 record. I also mentioned a bit of Telefunken’s history which is not vastly different from RCA’s with their common GE parentage plus this great commercial. All was one big hit with my club.
    BTW I still have my nonoperational but intact flea market find Telefunken mag disk Stenorette.
    I’m sending this URL to my radio club’s list for all to enjoy in person.