Monday, August 22, 2005


A couple of years ago, Nivea had a TV commercial that was so poor we did wonder if there was some hidden motive at work - two blokes watching an advert for a Nivea product moaning about the model and the stupidness of the idea, before concluding they might go and try some. The agency was presumably thinking "we can show a couple of chaps have exactly the same concerns about the very idea of using cosmetics on their manly faces, but, hey, they're prepared to give it a shot." The trouble is, it had the air of two straight men watching gay porn, complaining about how awful and wrong it was, before sneaking off home to get out the Kleenex and have a sob and an auto-slap.

Nivea's advertising for blokes since then has got slightly better, and now they've signed up to be sponsors for Tim Lovejoy's new Virgin radio sports and music show. The funny thing, though, the combination of big-fish-in-small-pool of Sport AM TV guy, a sports show that plays music (or is it a music show that features sport?) and face product for blokes seems less like a marriage made in marketing heaven; more like an idea pulled out from boxes at random. Even Virgin's head of sponsorship finds it tricky to sound that enthused by the idea:

“We presented a highly customised package to Nivea For Men that was tailored to have most impact with our listeners.

“The combination of Virgin Radio, Tim Lovejoy and Nivea For Men oozes fun and passion for sport combined with great music.”

The second sentence, in particular, sounds like something you'd get as a runner-up in one of those "using your skill and judgement, complete the following sentence in ten words or less" competitions.

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