Nivea Fresh Active leaves people with a yawn

The Nivea Fresh Active TVC starts interestingly and demonstrates potential but falls flat as it progresses, say industry experts

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: May 2, 2012 11:06 PM
Nivea Fresh Active leaves people with a yawn

A new campaign for Nivea Fresh Active, deodorant for men, has been launched. The TVC is currently on air. The creative and digital duties of the brand have been handled by Interface Communications and the media mandate is with MEC.

The ad starts off showing men in various situations that make them yawn, demonstrating boredom. We see different men reaching out for fruits from the fridge, flopped over breakfast at the dining table, reading a book, patting a baby to sleep, swimming, stretching out of bed – all of which makes them yawn out of sheer boredom. It’s after they spray the deodorant that they ‘get refreshed’ and come alive.

“We wanted our brand positioning to reflect ‘freshness’ and wanted to put our message across in a youthful and contemporary way,” said Sunil Gadgil, Marketing Director, Nivea India. “I believe we have managed to do so,” he added.

The target audience is of course men. The product range for men has been in the market from 2009. It was later extended to the deodorant category. The brand proposition has been carried forward into this product category.

‘Jhatka’ of freshness
Robby Mathew, NCD, Interface Communications spoke at length about the creative. He said that when they spoke to users of Nivea Fresh Active, they got a fresh insight of the product. “Users told us that the deodorant gave a ‘jhatka’ of freshness when used. The film simply tries to bring alive what the product users told us,” said Mathew.

Is the brand promise conveyed effectively? It is all about a yawn in the ad, which is creatively presented in a variety of ways. “The use to a yawn turning into an exciting ‘aaah!!!!’ is a simple yet effective way of bringing alive the efficacy of the deodorant. Also, the tagline ‘Get Refreshed’ reinforces the brand promise,” said Mathew.

What was significant about the execution, Mathew explained, is that the sound track is unique as it has been created entirely with yawns, ‘aahs’ and sounds of a can opening, spraying, etc. with minimal instrumentation. “If you hear closely, the yawns actually follow the melody of sa re ga ma…,” he said.

The track was a tough one to crack as the yawns had to be real yet fit into the melody. Six to seven voice artists came together to bring alive this track. There is a companion film to this one, which is also on the same lines and will break on TV and social media soon, shared Mathew.

The media mix includes TV, print, outdoor, point of sale and digital.

Industry speak

“Although the film is nice looking, it lacks an idea. What starts off as an interesting montage of tired men becomes an anti-climax when you realise that it is a deodorant that wakes them up,” said Abhijit Lahiri, Creative Head, Rediffusion Y&R.


Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, iYogi was of the opinion that the film doesn't do much. “The plank of freshness is overloaded and in the middle of all that Nivea – the famous cold cream – comes through as a ‘me-too’.” He felt that freshness is too generic. “While the yawn cues tiredness, sleepiness, drowsiness, or even laziness, the film doesn't quite wake me up. There definitely was a case and a reason to take the brand into something differentiated, but I don't think this commercial quite delivers that. At best, it leaves me with a yawn,” he added.

“It is a simple story, which is a good thing,” said Rupam Borah, Founder Director and Creative Officer, Virus. He found it to be memorable because of the waking up sequences and the SFX turning into a tune. “However it fails to create that fresh feeling,” he added.

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