THE NIVEA BALL
THE NIVEA BOYS
When people of all ages began spending more and more of their leisure time outdoors, the previous beauty ideal of paleness and fragility gave way to a completely new look. Fresh, fit and healthy was now the way to go. Times had changed so decisively that we knew NIVEA needed to change, too. But while our creative team worked hard to transform our product designs, it was a chance encounter that led to the birth of our new advertising campaign.
Our Head of Advertising, Juan Gregorio Clausen, was strolling through Hamburg when he passed by a photographer’s shop. Hanging in the window was a photo of three happy, cheeky and fresh-faced young brothers: Rolf-Robert, Peter and Wilhelm Wiethüchter. Juan knew instantly that this clean and wholesome family image captured the essence of the new NIVEA perfectly. So after we acquired the rights to the photo from the boys’ parents, the Wiethüchters became the new stars of our advertising in 1924. The campaign was a huge hit, and the brothers were soon greeted with cries of “Hello NIVEA!” wherever they went. And that wasn’t the only attention the boys received.
Soon after our campaign launched, we were inundated with fan mail from girls all over the country. Photos and letters streamed in, filled with adoring sentiments like “We think that you are really cute!” and “It’s a pity that you do not want to marry us, we like you a lot!”. The campaign was such a success that it wasn’t long before the NIVEA Boys were joined by the NIVEA Girls…
A GLOBAL SUCCESS
NIVEA AT THE BEACH
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
ONE BLUE TIN
THE NIVEA GIRLS
Although reality TV shows like Idol, The X-Factor, The Apprentice or Top Model are commonplace today, these kinds of media-led talent quests were unheard of back in 1925.
So when we placed an ad in a Berlin newspaper, announcing our nationwide search for three NIVEA Girls, it generated huge public excitement. Especially as we weren’t searching for glamorous models, but ordinary, everyday girls:
“We aren’t looking for great beauties, debutantes or young ladies with kiss curls. We’re looking for naturally pretty, healthy and clean-looking girls.”
One young mother, Mrs Fröhlich of Flensburg, north Germany, saw the ad and decided that her three daughters, Margot, Elfriede and Hertha, would be perfect. When their father heard about her plan, he made it clear that he didn’t want his daughters to be “advertising girls” – so Mum submitted their entry without telling him!
It was lucky for the girls that she did, because the Fröhlich sisters ended up beating more than 1,000 other girls to win the competition. And strangely enough, it turned out that the family wasn’t even familiar with NIVEA, as they’d just moved to Germany from Samoa, where our products weren’t available.
Happily, Mr Fröhlich came round to the idea of his daughters becoming our NIVEA Girls, and they went on to star in our ads. And just like the NIVEA Boys before them, it wasn’t long before the Fröhlich sisters were greeted with happy cries of “Hello NIVEA!” wherever they went.
For the past century, we’ve provided consumers with expert skincare, and you’ve responded by letting us know exactly how you feel about our products. The truth is, we love our fan mail. The archives at our headquarters in Hamburg, Germany are filled with countless letters and postcards that we’ve kept, which express our customers’ affinity for NIVEA. One letter, written in 1927 by Austrian actor and cabaret performer Paul Morgan, was particularly humbling. He wrote, “NIVEA Creme is addictive! Having succumbed to it, you will never again be able to do without it.” Many of the letters in our archive have come from children and include lovingly drawn pictures. One such picture thanks the company for a NIVEA beach ball, while another proudly declares that, “at our house, not a day goes by without NIVEA!” At our Hamburg location alone, we receive more than 1,200 questions, suggestions and “thank you” letters each week. Every year, some 100,000 consumers worldwide provide feedback about NIVEA products. Today, telephone calls and email have largely replaced old-fashioned letters. And thanks to social networks like Facebook, it’s never been easier for fans of NIVEA to connect with us from anywhere in the world. Thank you to all of the fans that have written to us over the past 100 years. We hope you’ll keep close and continue to let us know how NIVEA makes you and your skin feel.
THE SEARCH FOR
NIVEA has been globetrotting almost since the day we were born, thanks to a special skincare ingredient called Eucerit.
Invented by one of NIVEA’s founding fathers, Dr Isaac Lifschütz, Eucerit made it possible for a skin cream to remain stable over time – which lead directly to the creation of NIVEA Creme in 1911. This was the first skincare cream that could be exported around the world without losing any of its quality or consistency.
Just three years after NIVEA Creme made its debut in Hamburg, it was available on every continent, and nearly half of NIVEA’s sales came from overseas. By 1914, our products were produced not only in Hamburg, but also in Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Mexico, Moscow, New York, Paris and Sydney.
At the time, this kind of rapid international expansion was unheard of in the skincare industry. We were in uncharted waters – which meant that we often had to employ a little ingenuity when introducing NIVEA to new markets.
In South Africa, for instance, all our advertising had to appear in not one, but three languages – English, Zulu and Xhosa. In the UK, we needed to replace NIVEA Creme’s blue tin with plastic packaging when we realised that British people associated the aluminium tins with shoe polish.
In cold countries like Austria, we emphasised our products’ ability to protect the skin from the snow, wind and rain. Meanwhile, the NIVEA Sun range and other products more suited to hotter climates were marketed much more heavily in countries like Australia. All of these practices continue to this day.
We also made a point of creating products tailored to the skincare needs of people in different countries long before this became the norm. In the 1930s, for example, we saw that there was a huge demand in Asia for skincare products that could lighten the skin. So we created NIVEA Whitening Paste, which was an instant success. Even now, NIVEA products with whitening ingredients remain our biggest sellers throughout Asia.
Today, NIVEA is one of the world’s most trusted brands. Our products are available everywhere, from the far reaches of the Australian outback to the high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains.
Yet most people in the countries in which our products are sold see NIVEA as a local brand, which is surely the highest compliment we could ever hope to receive from our fans. We look forward to bringing NIVEA to you and to people all over the world for the next 100 years and beyond.