I love creative marketing. I must admit though that sometimes I am not sure whether the marketing campaigns that garner so much attention will translate to increased sales. I think some of these campaigns are more about branding or re-branding and the major sales pitches come later.
My new favorite effort on this front comes from Old Spice. In my day, Old Spice was a perennial dad and grandpa gift. It wasn’t wild, it wasn’t sexy – it was steady and predictable. But things started changing a few years ago when Old Spice introduced a massive re-branding effort by featuring a deep-voiced, shirtless, and very sexy man as its new Old Spice spokesperson in commercials. The commercials received immediate attention – mostly from women – and became the talk of the town. Old Spice capitalized on the attention it received by having its delicious spokesperson make a series of specific videos to respond to the on-air comments and tweets that were circulated about him. Watching these videos is like reading a hot romance novel – the man’s sexiness oozes through the screen. Plus, the videos have some nice dry humor imbedded in them. Hence, you will smile as much as you drool. If you have not seen any of these you really must at least watch a few – go to the Old Spice YouTube page and look for the videos posted three years ago.
Since the incredibly successful shirtless man campaign (I know he has a name, but it escapes me), Old Spice has continued to use humor to further its re-branding efforts. I do believe they successfully shifted the Old Spice image from a dad/grandpa gift to a “man I want to have sex with” gift. That shift was cemented by the tremendous success of the shirtless man campaign.
Old Spice has a new commercial now that makes it clear that it is reaching out to a younger audience – teenage boys. Teenage boys are a fickle market and not easy to tap into, but Old Spice found a curiously odd way to do it with its most recent ad. The ad features moms singing in despair about how Old Spice changed their boys into girl kissing men. You will want to see this minute long commercial (click here), to see how Old Spice uses moms and teenage boys’ libidos to make the case that it is part of the rite of passage to manhood. It is campy and has shades of stalker behavior, but funny at the same time. It is the type of commercial that teenage boys will watch and laugh at. And it makes one thing very clear – using Old Spice takes you from being a boy to being a man. I must say, it is kind of brilliant.
Spend some time watching what Old Spice has done with its branding over the past few years to not only make itself remain relevant, but to expand into markets where it had virtually no footprint in the past. Old Spice clearly brought some marketing genius to the table in this effort and is not afraid to elbow its way into the places it wants to go. Will I buy Old Spice having seen these campaigns? I don’t know if I will, but I will keep watching for what is next from Old Spice. They may not have my dollars yet, but they absolutely have my attention.
Day one thousand two hundred and eighty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da