Nivea's #BanBodyOdour goes beyond cliché deodorant marketing

Aishwaria Sonavane
Feb 05, 2016 08:43 IST
New Update
Nivea's #BanBodyOdour goes beyond cliché deodorant marketing
Ever wondered how social greetings of handshakes and high five came to live? Well, Nivea clears the air around this curiosity in the most eccentric way through their recently released campaign titled ‘Sands of Time’, which by the way asks for a ban too.

Bringing back bear hugs

Sloppy kisses and bear hugs have forever been synonymous to expressing affection, but in the contemporary times we found a way to distance ourselves from human contact through waves, handshakes, fist bumps, high fives and more as Nivea comes up with an exceptionally entertaining explanation for this, dating back to the grey era.

The film shoots off, in a rather rhythmic manner telling us a virgin anecdote of Adam and Eve, where Adam missed his chance to get a hug from Eve and was left just with a wave. And that’s how the first wave came to be!

The second scene pushes the date during the royal era, as a game of chess between two kings ends in a handshake due to bad odor thus, introducing the first ever shake.

"It would have been simple to create a campaign around the base behavioral insight, but we decided to dig deeper and hunt down resultant behavior. We realized that ‘affection’ is not avoided completely; it just becomes a little more remote. The creative juices flowed from this point, turning these remote forms of affection into inventions of necessity,” shared Prithviraj Banerjee, Head of Agency, DigitasLBi, India.

The film now reaches the 90’s in the retro times when two friends meet but the odor yet again restricts the hug thus inventing the very first high five. Finally, the film introduces its product the Nivea men body deodorant which brings back the bear hugs and keeps the pretentious greetings in the backend and demands us to ban body odors.

According to Mark Mcdonald, Senior Creative Director, DigitasLBi, India the objective of the campaign was two-fold - First, to create awareness about the problem because people with body odour often aren’t aware of it. Secondly, to put across our message in a fun, contemporary way that resonates with life today.

“The task was two-fold –  So we asked ourselves, ‘what if modern day gestures were in fact, the result of body odour?’ If so, wasn’t it time to #BanBodyOdour and bring back the good old hugs, thanks to NIVEA MEN Body Deodorizer?” added McDonald.

Social media activity

The campaign garnered over 2 million views across various digital platforms. #BanBodyOdour was stringing in parallel to ‘Hugging Day’ to amplify their social media presence.

The campaign centered its attention on Twitter by conducting a contest cheering participation by asking people to share their personalized #BanBodyOdour slogans.


The contest saw quirky posters flooding Twitter. Nivea also encouraged Twitteratis to share their favourite hugs with the Twitter folks.

Does this campaign deserve hugs?

Kicking off all the stereotypes, this campaign flourishes with a crisp, spanking new concept oozing with drama, hilarity and wit. And who doesn’t love fine humor?

The campaign glues to one concept of re-expressing history with humor and a poetic narrative thus creating an embellishing audio and visual experience for the audience. The visuals were apt keeping in the mind the hues and textures of every era.

Unlike plenty of competitive brands, Nivea moves away from the concept of girls’ magneting towards enticing aroma, but this campaign is male dominated who also happen to be their target gender, hence is justified.

Lastly, the campaign was supported by #BanBodyOdour on their social media handles. Coming to terms with the recent scenario of the country, the hashtag was incredibly likable as it demands to ban the odour along the rest of the bans inclining towards wit.


The first chapter of #BanBodyOdour was executed in 2015 when Nivea banked on the parody of topical personalities such as Arvind Kejriwal, Shobha De, and Sachin Tendulkar.

The only weak link of the campaign was the lack of connection between the first and the second legs of the campaign. Given the success #BanBodyOdour received last year, the brand could have used it as a runway for a higher flight.

To conclude, #BanBodyOdour massively breaks stereotypes that deodorant brands have been creating with sophisticated humour and agile social media execution.

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