Feb. 22nd, 2013

Nivea Stress Test Scares the Lederhosen Off Innocent Germans.

We all have fears that haunt us. Clowns. Public bathrooms. Jessica Chastain’s listless, creepy stare. (No? Is that last one just us?)

For clients, a common fear is doing an ad that’s too risky, daring, or controversial. But like we always say, unless you’re a city bus driver, you don’t get anywhere by playing it safe.

Nivea in Germany recently made a ballsy move that we quite enjoyed. To promote its Stress Protect deodorant, the brand concocted a “Stress Test” in which they essentially punk’d unknowing people at an airport. Through some careful planning and on-the-spot execution, Nivea made random people think they were being hunted down by the police. Stupid, right? Why the dickens would you believe that if you knew your record was 100% clean? Just watch.



Now before you get all, what if that had been my 90-year-old grandmother, you heartless chumps?? take note that Nivea got the victim’s friends in on it prior to launching an attack, to make sure each person was mentally and physically able to handle a minute or two of stress. And as the “making of” video shows, even the victims thought it was funny in the end. (Click the translation button below the video if you don’t sprechen sie Deutsch.)

See what happens when you boldly go where no one has gone before? There will always be critics and naysayers (just read the video comments) but you can’t argue with 4 million YouTube views. So the next time your web video only gets a measly 406 clicks, remind yourself that safe advertising is often the most dangerous move of all.



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