Who am I?
You are right. I am not the young Harry Potter, even if there are some similarities.
I am Det, one of the 6 famous ‘Mainzelmännchen’.
Me and my friends were broadcast for the first time on 2nd April 1963 in the ‘Zweiten Deutschen Fernsehen’ (ZDF), a public TV channel. We were created by Wolf Gerlach.
In Germany, advertising and TV programmes must be separated due to the state treaty of public television. That’s what we’re here for.
Our job is to distinguish these clearly from each other. Up to now we have flickered across the screen as a gap filler in more than 58 000 different cartoons.
At first we were only in black and white. In 1967, when colour television was born, we became colourful. In 1990 we were spruced up again and adapted to the spirit of the time.
As if that was necessary!
We Mainzelmaennchen are Anton, Berti, Conni, Edi, Fritzchen and me, Det.
Anton, with his red cap is the bon vivant. Bertie wears an orange cap. He is our IT expert. Conni has a blue cap. He is the spontaneous guy. He is interested in what young people like.
Our reddish Edi is an aesthetic one. Yes, and black-haired Fritzchen is the sporty and dynamic one. They say about me that I am the smartest and most fatherly. I am the untouchable boss.
Our presence on TV is regularly examined and investigated by impact studies. ‘We are doing a great job’ to quote a person you may know.
Here are some findings from the study ;)
We increase the activation of positivity in the viewer and this increases their acceptance of the commercial break.
According to research, we are the reason why four times more viewers watch the adverts than on other channels.
We suppress the impulse to switch channels.
Our viewers also accept it when we teach them about sensitive topics.
Our ‘Guudn Aamd‘ greeting at the beginning of a commercial break triggers a positive mood.
We Mainzelmaennchen employ over 35 people in Wiesbaden whose jobs it is to make sure we are presented in a timely and topical way.
You can see us from Monday to Saturday between 17:00-20:00 on the ZDF.
In 2013 we also performed a new song.
In conclusion, I can say that we are popular ZDF figures. We convey a good mood and happiness. Our humour is accessible to everyone, old and young.
Our young followers can download our colouring pages.
Enjoy German Television history!
See for yourself ☺
Photo 1: ©Hubert Rauscher, all other photos: ©ZDF