Old Spice has set new standards for viral video making and delivered amazing stats stats yet the current YouTube campaign is under scrutiny due to poor product sales...Leading to the inimitable question - does advertising work ? and is this campaign truly effective ? Here are 4 reasons why I salute Wieden and Kennedy + the folks at P and G, (also shared on the beancast in response to topics for their podcast on 7/18).
1. Creativity and Context are powerful
I'm intrigued as to why a sales decline on the brand or product satisfaction/relevance comments are thrown at Old Spice. As a marketer, I simply watch in wonderment at the magnificence of this phase of the campaign. It is truly immense on an insight, engagement, creative, intelligence, and context level. All this originating from the allegedly dead 30' ad !
2. Paying into the brand Equity
There should be no criticism from a brand or marketing perspective. If the campaign delivers against the brand equity and measures that were set - then bravo to all. I feel that effectiveness should be measured in a way that explicitly seeks to capture all benefits to the brand, irrespective of sales or market share change.
- For example, lets quickly look at this from the Sales department perspective - they can now call their retail partners in the full confidence that their brand has been elevated, eulogised and is front page news. The call or visit will run smoother, the promo plan will be seen more favourably, the orders will be placed more promptly.
- Now Imagine being the Old Spice brand management folks who are now able to show metrics that are transparent to product development, design, finance, customer services....they can now more easily demonstrate the value they can add, they can show engagement growth, viewers, new prospects, influence change, brand image improvement etc etc.
3. Marketing Innovation does NOT require a new product
For me the best part of all this is that it has happened on a low tech commodity product (compressed fragranced air). Clearly highly creative people re-envisioned the way to look at the category and how to communicate WITHOUT needing a new product ......sometimes we just might too quickly seek comfort in new products, when often there is a world of opportunity to simply stop, think and act differently.
4. Raising the Bar
The challenge has been set to every brand mananger and marketing/ad agency out there. What are you doing to get a consumer to care about your brand, that doesn't involve the easy option of maintaining the status quo or doing the same old thing?
That's the kind of challenge that makes me LOVE what I do.
Disclosure - despite being a former P and G employee, yet a competetitor deodorant brand user, the thoughts here are without any predetermined bias for or against Old spice.