I don’t want to jump on the Interwebs bandwagon - since it is now leaving town in a trail of dust, crowded with new fans – but all of this chatter about the brilliance of the witty Old Spice Man commercials, his fun tweets and hilarious videos warms the cockles of the hearts of new media marketers, like me.
It helps that Procter and Gamble, the makers of Old Spice, selected as their handsome, towel-clad spokesman a very appealing fellow. Former Seattle Seahawk and character actor, Isaiah Mustafa (I expect to soon see him starring in a TV series or a Hollywood film) is both a man’s man and a ladies’ man – who makes women’s hearts flutter and giggles fly.
Until recently, Old Spice had become known as the “grandpa smell” that we may fondly remember our fathers and grandfathers for, but don’t want to be thinking about with our boyfriends, husbands and/or lovers (not a mutually exclusive group, by the way). The brilliance of Proctor and Gamble’s web marketing campaign is that it ties together television and print advertising with new media – like Twitter, Facebook, the Blogosphere and You Tube. This multi-faceted campaign engages and entertains, while building a new following, a new market among young consumers and growing Old Spice’s brand awareness and customer loyalty. This isn’t grandpa’s aftershave any more!
The Old Spice marketing campaign reminds me of a few years ago when Brawny paper towels (a Georgia Pacific company) presented women with “Innocent Escapes” – web-based videos hosted on the Brawny site that featured a hunky Brawny Man who played guitar, painted pictures and slow danced with the viewer who was suddenly cast in the role of his lady. Mr. Brawny was a bit of a wimp for me, but I did enjoy the concept of a man so smitten with affection that he would massage my feet after a hard day.
Proctor and Gamble took Georgia Pacific’s idea a few steps further by turning the Old Spice man into a real person who tweets and you can “friend” on Facebook. P & G’s Return on Investment is surely paying off by modernizing the Old Spice brand and gaining the attention of new, young consumers.
Brands that want to capture the attention of younger consumers should not overlook or “poo-poo” the idea of using social networking as a means to find and reach out to potential new buyers. In marketing you have to go where your people are and, until something even more engaging and cutting-edge comes along, social media networks are the place to be.
Just remember that once you get there, you had better be prepared to interact (not broadcast), educate, listen and be authentic. Having and expressing humor is also very helpful. Smoke and mirrors marketing will not fly on Twitter. A lack of authenticity or integrity will soon be discovered by savvy tweeters and will spread like a hot, July, California wildfire.
This is not your grandpa’s Old Spice. Today’s emerging consumers will ask direct questions and expect straightforward answers from brands. They want to be amused or educated by advertising and marketing and feel proud of their buying choices.
The best part of the new marketing paradigm for brands that socially engage is that they can now build viral word-of-mouth (or word-by-tweet) campaigns that, when well-executed, will blow traditional marketing campaign ROIs and their competitors out of the water.