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Quack Quack went the Nivea Duckie

December 2, 2013

From time to time I receive little gifts from skin care companies running marketing campaigns so it wasn’t such a surprise when I received this:

Nivea duck

The idea is that I take the little duckie with me on my summer jollies, take his/her picture and upload it to social media.  If all goes to plan my picture will be joined by thousands (if not millions) of others  creating brand (and Duck) awareness.

Nice idea, not bad at all and of course one that Nivea, being a big player can execute very well – see their campaign page here: http://www.nivea.com.au/products/campaigns/ext/en-AU/Duck-campaign

Only I am not sure that I’m the target audience.  You see when little duckie arrived here in the post all I could see was how this innocent looking piece of plastic cuteness might end up contributing to the 18,000 pieces of plastic that float in every square kilometre of ocean (I read this in the Sydney Morning Herald on the day that I received my package).   Then to make matters worse I remembered  the Duck cargo loss of 1992  and the fact that some of these duck are still floating twenty years on!  And then there’s the fact that  I live my formulating life by the mantra ‘cosmetics are a non-essential purchase so value the resources that go into them’.  OK, not much of a catchy mantra but it’s true.

Now I do know a few things about Nivea as a company and know that coming from Germany they have to comply with some of the strictest environmental standards that exist in the chemical industry world (standards that have existed for years and are only ever getting tighter).  They are leaders in their field and serious players in the sunscreen market producing fantastic products that perform to a really high standard.  They are also a brand that I have grown up with being the only hand cream that my mum trusted to help manage her cracked skin during those tricky years as a stay-at-home mother with a baby, pre-schoolers, a dog and copious amounts of housework.   Yes it is fair to say that Nivea and that elegant and trustworthy signature blue has played a significant part in my life.  And that isn’t going to stop because of a blue duck after all, maybe it is readily biodegradable?

I sometimes feel a little sad that I can’t just enjoy these promotions for what they superficially are – harmless fun!  After all I presume that lots of other bloggers, Facebook fans and subscribers will be opening their pack and thinking ‘yay, what a cute idea’ and doing what they should.  But I just can’t get the plastic thoughts out of my head and that’s not because I live in a plastic free zone, I’m no eco warrior guru it is just that the Duck seemed to trigger something for me and it wasn’t good.

After that I’m not quite sure what to do with my Duckie now – maybe someone out there wants to adopt it and show it a good time or maybe I’ll keep it on my desk as a reminder of the importance of living a life less plasticated. In any case I’m not going to carry on loving my Nivea sunscreens and will continue to hold fond memories of the handcream of my childhood – the one in the small round tub with the silver protective foil around it.

Answers on a postcard…..

Amanda x

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2013 9:53 am

    Absolutely agree with you Amanda. Enough useless plastic already! Also reminds me of the book “Slow Death By Rubber Duck”, which is about chemical toxicity. I’m sure Nivea would not want people to associate that with their brand!

  2. December 3, 2013 9:59 am

    I’d send it back with a note explaining why you think it’s an inappropriate giveaway.

  3. RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
    December 3, 2013 10:12 am

    Pop art – a symbol of our throw-away culture.

  4. Olivia permalink
    January 9, 2014 4:53 pm

    I will adopt your Nivea Duckie 🙂

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      January 9, 2014 5:41 pm

      Lovely Olivia!
      I’d be more than happy to post it to you if I can find it. I think it is hiding somewhere in my office so I’ll have a look. Do you want to send your address to amanda@realizebeauty.com 🙂

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