From tube to tape
A customer asking for tesa® at a shop counter in 1908 would not have received any tape. Initially, tesa® was the brand name of the patented tube used for Pebeco toothpaste. But the tube business fared poorly. In 1926, the name was therefore transferred to another Beiersdorf product: an innovative substance into which sausages were plunged to form an outer casing. But tesa was unsuccessful as a sausage casing as well. The transparent rubber tape developed in 1935 was the last to be given the catchy name tesa. This was a case of third time lucky and the tape was a big hit with customers.
Hugo Kirchberg developed the tesa® roll dispenser.
A man’s name also comes up in connection with the success of tesafilm®. The year is 1934, and the unemployed in Germany number seven million, when 25 year old Hugo Kirchberg from Eisenach, applies for a job at Beiersdorf in Hamburg.
The busy commercial management assistant, who came to Beiersdorf from an office supply company with six employees took it upon himself to lead the Beiersdorf rubber tape, which had previously been insignificant, to success. Kirchberg believed in the product, or at least in its future in the office. His first ingenious idea: He gave the tape the short, but sweet name tesa® – first, in 1936, as tesa® adhesive tape and later as tesafilm®.
Hugo Kirchberg (1949)
To give consumers an additional practical tool for using the tape, Kirchberg also developed the tesa® roll dispenser which is still around today albeit with some design changes on nearly every desk to this day. With advertising slogans that were right on target, Kirchberg led the product to success.
One of the slogans Kirchberg used to advertise during the nineteen thirties was “for glueing, patching, and arts and crafts,” which targeted consumers’ needs and desires. During the Great Depression and the accompanying world economic crisis, and later, during the Second World War, consumers welcomed anything that made improvising and surviving from day to day any easier.
The slogan of the nineteen sixties, “Mit tesa® (k)lebt sich’s leichter” (tesa® makes glueing and living easier) was perfect for its era, which was characterised by a mood of joie de vivre.