afaqs! news bureau

Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?

Because he stinks. Here's a look at #CoveringUpFails, a new campaign by Nivea Men Body Deo.

Nivea Men a men's grooming brand, recently launched its new campaign #CoveringUpFails - An Epic Undercover Fail, to promote its deodorant with a humorous take on a spy's undercover mission which horribly goes wrong because of his body odour.

The digital ad, asks men to be better prepared for every important mission in their lives, be it at work, with family, in public spaces, or with a loved one. The ad has been conceptualised by DigitasLBi India. Interestingly, in this campaign, the product is categorised as a 'deodorizer', not 'deodorant'.

Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?
The brand's idea is to target men's habit of using quick fixes and shortcuts to take care of their problems, including body odour. Shortcuts like ordinary deodorants, which never really solve the problem at the root.
Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?
Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?
Sunil Gadgil, marketing director, Nivea India, says in a press release, "The Indian consumers' attitude towards body odour is 'Not my problem'. The aim of this campaign is to create relevance of body odour for consumers without triggering their defence mechanism of 'Not for me'. This film is part of a series of films created by Nivea India to seed the practice of 'odour control at the source' and is aimed at consumers with the habit of spraying a fragrance on the shirt for masking the odour."

Akshat Bhardwaj, creative director, DigitasLBi, India, says in a press release, "We had a powerful proposition in place - ordinary deodorants just cover up body odour and don't get rid of it. So, we thought that it would be great fun to bring this out by riding on the image of a popular culture icon (Agent Double O Seven), and inserting a body odour situation into one of his undercover missions."

We asked our digital experts if it is a well-executed ad and if the humour in it would be able to sell the product?

Rajiv Dingra, founder and chief executive officer, WATConsult, a digital arm of Dentsu Aegis Network, finds the entire execution tacky and force hit. He says, "While they try hard to show that a body deodoriser acts at the source unlike other deos that you spray on your shirt; it still is a tacky execution in trying to showcase a Bond spoof, which too, is done with bad production values."

Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?
Why does 'Agent Double Odour Seven' fail?
He adds, "I think the production value is below par, the actor taken is not looking anything like 007 and in general the execution, tacky and crass; not something a global brand like Nivea should have associated with. Clearly there is lack of thinking and creativity and more thought should have gone into the creative rather than just spoofing 007."

Ahmed Naqvi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Gozoop, a digital agency, says, "Nivea has done two things successfully with this video - first, choosing to go the branded content route on digital and second, conveying their product proposition. Unfortunately, I don't think it was the right type of content to connect with the audience to actually engage them and keep them coming back for more. Will I look forward to what's next from 007? Probably not. Though they had good intentions, I believe Nivea tripped up in the execution of the concept."

He adds, "Humour is something which will work with the Nivea TG well, but in this case the humour is stuck somewhere between slapstick and sarcastic. One doesn't know whether to laugh out loud at the smelling of armpits or appreciate the double-odour-seven pun."

In general, the deodorant ads focus on young guys using it to impress girls but this ad by Nivea Men, focuses on body odour. We asked our experts if that is a good strategy.

Dingra says, "Functional messages have worked before much like how Fogg gained market share by just focusing on the longevity of the deodorant, which is not gas based and therefore works for more number of sprays and is hence value for money. But in this case, a functional message has been wrapped up in a messy spoof of 007 with poor production values which in my mind would do little for the brand."

Naqvi says, "It is definitely refreshing to have a deodorant brand not pushing the 'impressing women' angle with sexual innuendos, and rather focusing on the concept of self. With the sentiments of self-expression and self-belief running high among the TG, this route can work very well. And in any case it's good to break the clutter!"

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