Nivea is hiring consumers to generate word-of-mouth marketing and PR to help launch its latest beauty product – a moisturiser that claims to firm the skin as well as gradually develop a tan.
The Beiersdorf-owned personal care brand is launching Sunkissed Skin moisturiser next month using marketing teams that were chosen at X Factor-style auditions held in Manchester and London.
The initiative, developed by London-based agency Space, saw press ads placed in Heat magazine and Metro newspapers inviting respondents to attend auditions at which they had to demonstrate their ability to gossip and tell stories.
Judges, including Fame Academy “headhunter” Richard Park, whittled applicants down to four teams of two, who were asked to quit their jobs for a month in order to concentrate on generating publicity for the launch with as many news organisations as possible.
Each team member is being paid &£3,000 for the month and, as an additional incentive, the members of the winning team will be paid &£10,000 each. Each team has been handed a different area of the country in which to promote the skincare range – the North-east, North-west, South-east and South-west – but none has been given a specific agenda on how to generate coverage.
The moves comes as consumer goods brand-owners increasingly turn to consumers to market their products, as studies show how powerful a tool word- of-mouth marketing can be, compared with tradit-ional forms of advertising.
Earlier this year US consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble commissioned research which found that a mother who felt moved to talk about a product set off a chain reaction that eventually involved more than 1,000 mothers in the discussion.