Posts Tagged ‘old spice’

Old Spice oh dear

July 26, 2011

It’s bad news I’m afraid. The US Old Spice campaign with Isaiah Mustafa – probably the campaign that’s made me laugh more than any other – is no longer. They have moved on to a new character Fabio. Why oh why oh why … I can hardly bear to watch …

Sort of to their credit they’ve made loads of executions, including responses to Tweets, and put them online quickly, but personally I just loathe it. It goes to show how hard it is to be brilliant all the time, and the challenges of ‘the difficult second album’.

It’s trying too hard. And the casting is dreadful compared to the previous inspired choice – he’s too self-consciously silly, gay and not attractive. The strategy doesn’t work if women don’t fancy the character and men don’t want to be him.  Having said that the Twitterverse seems divided with some people liking the way they’re deliberately sending up their own idea. Hmm.

Fabio has today challenged Isaiah to a duel, to be broadcast at 5pm UK time today I think.

But frankly I doubt whether I’ll watch. Seems a rather desperate attempt to borrow some of the charm of the predecessor, but will presumably just make it even more obvious that they’ve cocked up. As one commenter on YouTube says: “If Fabio wins I’m switching to Axe [Lynx in the UK]”.

Rather confusingly the first Isaiah ad has just arrived in the UK – well at least on YouTube:

But what on earth is that huge ugly pack he’s holding?!  It just looks silly. It only works if it all works.

I haven’t heard any hype about the UK launch at all. Maybe they haven’t yet properly launched it here yet, or maybe they’re hoping that just putting it on YouTube will do something. The ad’s had more than half a million views on YouTube but I suspect it’s too late for Old Spice in the UK to get resurrected – it seems deeply naff and has very little distribution as far as I can see.

The original campaign won an Effie recently – the US equivalent of our IPA Effectiveness Awards. You can read the entry here  It shows a doubling of sales in the short term but doesn’t mention the longer term results, and has some nice evidence about how the campaign dominated online conversations, especially with the ‘response’ second element of the campaign where they filmed 186 YouTube videos where the guy responds to the questions people have submitted.


New Old Spice

June 29, 2010

I was delighted to see that an ad that has been making me giggle for weeks (I watch it online in dull moments) has won the Cannes Advertising Festival commercial of the year. It’s part of a campaign from Wieden & Kennedy in Oregon that has reinvented what we know of as a naff old P&G brand that grannies bought in the 70s.

I’ve used it in training sessions with young marketers because there’s a lot to talk about. It’s aimed at the women who buy their men’s toiletries as well as the men themselves, and is a neatly nuanced execution of the ‘for real men’ strategy, which can go off in all manner of directions depending on how you brief it. And from a production point of view it’s intriguing because it seems to be shot in a single take but that appears impossible (it is in fact a single shot, according to the ‘making of’ video on YouTube, with the only CGI the bit with the diamonds and the pack rising up out of his hand).

On a related topic, I’ve seen today that Tetley tea are bringing back the Tea Folk advertising. My last project when I worked agency-side was a pitch in 2005 for Tetley tea (which we won) where the brief was ‘move it on from the Tea Folk’ because with their flat caps and Northern ways they weren’t the right image for a 21st century tea brand. The ensuring campaigns have never quite worked out and PG Tips have got Monkey and Al and brand leadership, so Tetley have finally decided it’s time to go back. Hopefully MCBD can do what they’ve done for Hovis in terms of refreshing an old approach.