Feb 26, 2013

Is The Nivea “Stress Test” Video Excellent Social Marketing or Viral Videos Gone Too Far?

Chris Harris
Feb 26th, 2013 - 2 mins read

To launch the new Stress Protect Deodorant, NIVEA teamed up with ad agency Felix & Lamberti to hoodwink airport travellers to capture the ultimate stress test. By filming innocent passengers waiting for the departures, put stress on both the participant and viewer which begs the question how far will we go to create content for our brand?


As the scenario plays out, the unsuspecting main characters of the film are shown newspapers and TV bulletins which frame them as wanted criminals on the run, as reactions from passengers contribute to the growing emotional stress inflicted on the victims to the point well beyond a hard-working deodorant…



According to AdWeek, Nivea stated that the participants were thoroughly studied in advance (with the assistance of close friends) to ensure they were mentally ready for being able to handle a situation such as this. Though I wonder how you actually screen for this… But by not using actors and rather members of the public is a smart move which brings an immediacy between audience and brand.


Here’s a look behind the scenes to creating the film:



I think this idea, though brave and risky, is very well executed. The fact that the situation is incomprehensibly alien for most of us underlies the assumption that this product could handle that and therefore less stressful situations. The Nivea video does provide a ‘have you seen this?’ factor which all good viral videos need, it’s well executed and provides a good narrative and really divides viewers opinion (at time of writing 13K likes, 1K dislikes on Youtube). Some though, might be asking how far will brands go to reach a Youtube audience?


Similar shock tactics have been used before, a most recent example being by TNT below, using their ‘dramatic button’:



Does a strategy like Nivea’s potentially offend or lose them customers? Maybe. Does a risky strategy befit a brand like Nivea? Why not? I think there’s a place for any brand taking risks, thinking outside of the box and trying something new and innovative. After all, that’s social media marketing isn’t it?


The tools are out there ready to be used, and we need campaigns such as Nivea & TNT to make marketers and agencies think about producing Youtube hits such as these. And having the freedom to do so.


What do you think? Has Nivea over-stepped the mark with this video?



Chris Harris
Feb 26th, 2013 - 2 mins read