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.