Ad deconstructed: Nivea Men Originals
Financial Times, 6 May 2013

Client: Beiersdorf
Agency: Draftfcb
Territory: Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific
Verdict: 2/5

It is not clear whether the protagonist in Nivea Men’s new multiplatform campaign for male moisturisers is supposed to be more like James Bond or a Guy Ritchie anti-hero. But either way, he is very much a man’s man. In one video, he is thwacked in the eye on an off-piste skiing adventure and thrown overboard from a sailboat – before encountering less aspirational accidents such as being struck in the face by a football, slapped by a girlfriend and walloped by a nightclub bouncer.


Whether a gentleman or a lad, our leading man shows no signs of slowing down as he hits his 40th birthday (the clue is on the cake), and as such the term “anti-ageing” has been eschewed as too fearful – and too feminine – a phrase. His moisturiser is labelled “Active Age” instead.

Dirk Haeusermann, Draftfcb’s creative director, explains: “Metrosexuality has evolved over the last couple of years with the rise of ‘ubersexuality’.” The newer term describes men who want to be well groomed while still embracing a traditional notion of masculinity.

Although its premise is clear, the advert is too generic to have real bite. Its “ubersexual” star is a loose jumble of male clichés, and as they slip easily from the memory, so too does the product.