The NIVEA Girls

a competition

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.