Newsflash: Stress makes you sweat. And that’s just what the folks at Nivea were hoping to capitalize on when they tricked several unsuspecting people into thinking they were the targets of a police manhunt.
The Germany-based skincare company surreptitiously snapped photos of people waiting at the airport, then instantly created fake newspapers with their faces labeled as fugitives — which actors casually made sure they got a good look at. Next, an announcement came over the intercom giving the targets’ physical descriptions and saying they were wanted by police. Finally, TVs blared “breaking news” that warned they were “dangerous and unpredictable.”
As the prank victims quickly realized they were the ones being sought — despite protests like “I didn’t do anything!” — they were approached by “security” who asked, “Are you stressed?” then pulled out a metal case…filled with Nivea’s “Stress Protect” deodorant.
“We want to illustrate the reactions that stress can trigger in the human body to consumers in an entertaining way,” said Ingo Tanger, marketing director at Nivea parent company Beiersdorf, according to Yahoo!
The video production company explained that the targets were brought to the airport by friends “under some pretext” — but only once the production company verified they didn’t have any medical conditions (“such as a weak heart”) did the prank proceed.
In a video about the making of the ad, a young woman who was pranked explained in German, “First, I thought that I’m dreaming or that my photo was mixed up. I thought someone took my photo from Facebook and it was mixed up with someone else’s.”
But she took it pretty well after it was all over, saying, “Actually it was really funny. I found it quite cool.”