What does "spoiler" actually mean?

Benno Maggi explains in his column "What does... actually mean?" terms from the field of marketing and communication. This time he explains the term "spoiler".

Was bedeutet eigentlichAt the latest with the voting campaign for May 15, 2022, the streaming giant Netflix has also made it to the regular and parlor tables of our country. But not only that, because it is also reshaping the meaning of a somewhat retro-looking word in the German-speaking world: Spoiler.

In the 1980s, when casuals in white socks and wide-open shirts let their elbows hang out of the window, taking a pleasurable drag on their Muratti cigarettes as they drove through the inner cities, there was usually a spoiler attached to the back of the car. The bigger, the cooler. The successors of this type of man - today called autoposers - focus more on horsepower and decibels of the engines than on aerodynamics. Yet in the German-speaking world, this was precisely the only word interpretation of the spoiler. Derived from the English to spoil For a long time it was simply called Reduce air resistancebut actually completely translated also spoil or ruin. But what used to be known to car enthusiasts as a sheet metal or plastic part on vehicles that favorably influenced aerodynamic conditions and was laughed at in car-critical cities is now the talk of the town.

The small subtle difference

In urban lifestyle talk, being one of the people who follow the right one in the universe of Netflix series is an art in itself. But to pass this on in a condensed form without giving away the essentials is already a high art of storytelling. Or just not a spoiler. The dictionary has recently started to affectionately call the new interpretation "jargon for the summary of a film, book or the like, which spoils the reader's or viewer's interest in the story by giving away information from the plot that provides suspense." The anger of those who are spoiled is then about the same as that toward autoposers. So this is how Netflix manages to not only change a word interpretation with us, but also to brand and win a vote (even if they are among the losers in the process). That should not only make the hearts of filmmakers beat faster with admiration, but also those of communication and brand experts.

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