Nivea Bodywash for men will not increase your ability to mate

Advertisements for men’s deod0rants and skincare products have been advising them, essentially, that the products emit scents that don’t so much appeal to women as whip us into a hormonal frenzy that forces us to jump the bones of whatever butt-ugly shithead is wearing this magic product. We’ve talked in the past about how mind-numbingly stupid a person would have to be to fall for this, and noted other evidence the campaigns are deeply out of touch with their target audience. We’ve talked about how it presents men as sexual predators and women as prey.

We’re not the only ones who get it. Below is Nivea’s giggle-inspiring counter campaign:

For those who don’t want to watch the video, it features boys at school being presented with Nivea bodywash and responding skeptically. “If babes can’t smell me from here, I’m not interested.” “And the name’s gotta dominate, ‘cuz I dominate!” “This won’t increase my ability to mate! They need to feel me, they need to hear my, they need to see me, and above all, they need to smell me, ya know? They gotta be attracted somehow.” Followed by a young man dressed for work smelling it and saying, “Doesn’t dry your skin, doesn’t reek. Isn’t that the point?” And narration: “Finally, a bodywash for grownups.”

Seriously. This is such a guided tour of the disconnect between the target audience marketers and film/TV people want to believe they have, and the audience they really have. Question: how many people out there are really going to buy a product because they think using it will get them laid? Answer: not as many as you think. Stupid people tend to stick out in the memory, seeming more numerous than they really are. But even people who initially believe a widely available and affordable bodywash or deoderant could be the magic elixir behind Hugh Heffner having more sex than they do will learn very quickly that reeking of scent actually repulses people instead of attracting them.


  1. sbg says

    I can scratch this one off my list! (Seriously, it was on my list.)

    I like this ad because at the end, with the not-insane guy commenting about how it doesn’t stink and gets him clean, I’m sold on the product and I’ve no use for it at all. That’s effective marketing.

  2. says

    Oh, I know! I loved this one! Nivea, from what I seem to have noticed, is generally pretty good about having commercials that don’t seem to insult anyone. (Then again, I don’t keep track of commercials very well…I could just as easily be wrong.)

  3. MaggieCat says

    I’msold on the product and I’ve no use for it at all. That’s effective marketing.

    The first time I saw this commercial, I only saw it because the first part (I believe it was somewhere around “if they can’t smell me from over here” heh) managed to break through my normal commercial induced selective hearing loss and forced me to actually turn up the television to see what it was for. And then nearly fall off the couch giggling. Well played, Nivea people.

    And if my experience with their products is any proof of the rest of their stuff, I suspect this may be another example for the “Good companies can afford to be clever rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator” file.

    It also shows an astonishing (and possibly accidental, but I doubt it) amount of awareness that while they want to market a product for men without contaminating the ad with girl cooties, they should also avoid insulting and alienating the women who buy all of their other products.

  4. says

    I loved this commercial, especially since I have violent asthma to artificial petroleum based scents, and any guy who wants me needs to at least not ward me off with poison. There was just one thing. Why id the Southeast Asian boy have to be the geeky scientific one? Why won’t that stereotype just die?


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