Nivea Men, Happiness FCB’s NOSE Knows When You Smell Bad

By Erik Oster 

Happiness FCB and Nivea Men found a novel solution to a foul-smelling problem.

Basically, men (who sweat more than women but have 40% less brain area to perceive those odors) usually have no idea when they smell awful. The other part of the problem is that “our nose is so used to our own body odor that we can’t smell our own sweat,” as the spot introducing Nivea Men’s NOSE explains.

Febreze, of course, has similarly called out the issue of becoming too used to foul smells to notice them, using the term “noseblind.” But Nivea Men decided to do something about the problem, collaborating with Happiness FCB to create an app, called NOSE, which works in conjunction with special sensors on a custom phone cover, to determine if you smell okay, bad, or have a body odor emergency on your hands.

Unfortunately, the brand seems to have missed out on the opportunity to have Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman repeatedly yell “You stink!” when the results confirm the presence of excessive body odor levels.

While the introduction of NOSE could have been handled a little better (the schtick used to introduce it feels a bit contrived), the idea itself is pretty clever. It helps identify the very problem Nivea’s product is designed to solve (that would be body odor) in a novel way. Whether or not everyone who watches the spot promoting NOSE will eventually get the app and accompanying device, it will at least get them thinking about body odor. And that just might get them to reach for Nivea Men products the next time they’re in the market for some deodorant.

The beta-version of NOSE was just demonstrated in Belgium yesterday and will receive further testing worldwide throughout the year, with the app subsequently launching in the AppStore and GooglePlay during the next phase and a consumer version released later. In other words, you may have to wait awhile if you want to try it for yourself.

In the meantime, maybe err on the side of assuming you smell bad. Now if only they made an app for determining when your marketing stunt is culturally insensitive.