Smart and funny… recipe for good marketing

You’re faced with an “old” brand (which interestingly – to me at any rate -  was originally created for women in 1937) launched in 1938.  It’s a brand with a lot of baggage, particularly in a world of glossy competitors.

Rather than go the usual route, they took an alternative approach, which certainly appears to be working for them.

February 05, 2010

Funny, smart ads that don’t involved scantily clad females, and still appeal to the target demographic.

But what’s really smart is how they’re embracing social media creating bespoke videos for people who have tweeted or commented on other social media channels about the ads and about the brand.  There are of course some videos made especially for the ‘great’ and the ‘good’ (not to mention Starbucks), but there are even more for people like you and me.

Smart. Very smart.

A reply to Gail Berg’s post on Facebook…


Interesting piece in AdWeek questioning the commercial return from award winning advertising.  To quote:

For instance, P&G picked up the Film Grand Prix this year for Old Spice’s "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" spot from Wieden + Kennedy. Launched in February, it’s racked up nearly 12.2 million YouTube views. But in the 52 weeks ended June 13, sales of the featured product, Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, have dropped 7 percent, per SymphonyIRI (this excludes those sold at Walmart). P&G execs were not available to comment.

This is very interesting.  On a personal level I would say my perception of the Old Spice brand has moved in a favorable direction. I’d be interested in finding out has the campaign had a positive impact on brand perception.  Of course the bottom line impact is pretty critical, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in the medium term.  As we all know the return on investment remains paramount – and the real measure of success.

3 thoughts on “Smart and funny… recipe for good marketing

  1. I dunno Tom. I find a lot of things funny. This one misses for me. (Of course, humor is subjective.)

    You know where it really hits, though? It makes me wonder if brands mirror the image that consumers have, does it simply reinforce it? Or does it lighten the load?

    It seems your saying the latter, but I can’t help but wonder if there is a long-term consequence much like that Toyota video that went viral, perhaps for the wrong reasons.


  2. Hi Richard,

    Yes, you’re right the challenge with humor is that it is terribly subjective. For me personally I love these campaign ’cause it directly addresses perceptions people have about the brand, and I think it’s pretty funny.

    I also think it’s clever and I love the way they’ve linked traditional marketing spend with online spend – I am passionate about the need for integrated execution (and spend) for real impact.

    Personally speaking, this has had a positive impact on my perceptions of Old Spice, a brand I purchased back in the 80s but have studiously avoided since.

    There are limits to the impact of marketing, the product has to stand up, but I think this initiative does a lot to create a more favorable purchasing environment for the product.

    But you’re right it’s subjective.


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