Advertising is hard – you’ve got to be informative and factual while at the same time managing to be eye catching enough to get and hold people’s attention. To that end, Nivea Germany built a robotic seagull that shits sunscreen on children.
The Deutsch arm of the skincare product giant copped a verbal flogging from Sir John Hegarty, president of the jury that overseas advertising at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (it’s like the Cannes Film Festival for marketing people), over their bizarre incontinent sunscreen bird ad.
The ad shows people laughing in delight as the bird / sunscreen-deploying UAV chases down a child trying to avoid slopping on his sunscreen, which seems counterfactual to the screams of terror and panicked running that would actually be happening if this went down in real life.
Hegarty did not mince his words at all, he was not a fan:
“You should see it, it’s the most stupid thing I think I’ve seen in my whole life. I actually thought the Monty Python team had gotten together and entered it into [Cannes], to see if we would vote for it.”
It turns out it definitely was not a prank, and they’re not all that proud of it. When Adweek tried to reach Jung von Matt/Elbe, the PR firm behind it, they said that Nivea doesn’t want any PR for it so they would not promote it.
Key moments in this incredibly bizarre advertising choice are the Nivea marketing goons creepily watching this all play out from the sand dunes and the “scientists” tinkering around with syringes to perfect the best method for making a bird ejaculate sunscreen out of its ass.
You can watch the incredible work of outsider art here:
Ya blew it.