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Chicago, IL 60601
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Nivea’s ‘Second Skin Project’ Proves the Power of Touch

Leo Burnett Madrid shows the best connection is a human one

On Christmas Day, Nivea Crème and Leo Burnett Madrid unveiled the “Second Skin Project” – a technological development that not only helped bring a mother and son together just in time for the holidays, but also showed the importance of human touch.

The “Second Skin Project” introduces us to Laura and her son, Pablo, who live thousands of miles apart. Interviewed separately, they share a moving Christmastime memory. Pablo had suffered from a severe asthma attack that placed him in a coma. The minute he woke up from his coma, the two shared a hug, which immediately became the most important moment of their lives.

The ad shows how Nivea planned to reunite mother and son for the holidays with a new, technological breakthrough: a fabric that simulates human skin. The ad even includes a “nanotechnology expert” who explains how this “second skin” can transmit the sense touch even over long distances.

Laura and Pablo are to be the first to test the product, which turns out to be successful, but not because of any tech. Nivea had flown Pablo out to surprise Laura with an in-person Christmas embrace.

The film’s message is that while texting and video-conferencing are wonderful tech tools to stay in touch with loved ones, the human touch trumps all the emojis in the world. At the end, the film explains: “The Second Skin Project is not real. But its people and their story are.”

“As the world becomes smaller thanks to technology and as it definitely brings people closer than ever, we wanted to express that we are also losing true human contact a bit,” said Juan Garcia-Escudero, lead creative director. “This is particularly true in Christmas time, when people tend to rely on digital interactions over face-to-face ones” because families are sometimes apart.

As for the casting, the agency’s production team went through a difficult and extensive process to find the perfect mother-son duo. The agency was genuinely moved by Laura and Pablo’s story. “We had no idea about it and when we learned about it we knew they had to be the ones,” said Garcia-Escudero. “It seemed as if it was taken from a book, but it was absolutely genuine and fascinating.”