This piece by Shawn King was originally posted on his posterous, here:.
It’s pretty clear that just about everything that’s happened with this campaign is great, so let’s start at the beginning.
Can you imagine getting the brief for this one? “Let’s rejuvenate the Old Spice brand”. I imagine it was something like that. I also imagine the team (or teams) that were briefed on the job were likely not all that thrilled with the idea of having to make a brand with “old” in the name, a brand that their fathers used and likely their fathers, fathers used, current and relevant again. Old Spice deodorant? C’mon.
So, somewhere along the way it was decided that just maybe something great could be done. Somewhere along the way, a very mature creative team, a very smart account person and an even smarter client decided something drastically different would have to be done – and more importantly they were willing to do it.
What I love most about this work is not the ads – yes, they’re amazing. It’s the fact that upon recognizing the momentum the brand was getting, they chose to do the right thing – capitalize on it. Those smart folks at Weiden & Kennedy were smart enough and aware enough to realize what was going on and get the client to agree to do something, I’m not sure has ever been done before: over the course of 3 days, they would shoot spots that to air on-line in direct response to what people were saying about the brand. Sheer brilliance.
I’ve read about the process: a writing team at one table, various folks taking turns directing, an editing team at another table and a team of folks reviewing the on-line chatter and deciding what to respond too. Not to mention a football player turned actor who’s managed to perfect his character regardless of the dialogue (he’s since had movie offers) and a client to was willing to take a chance on something new. This is how we make progress: try it – it just might work. A client who agreed this was a good idea. A very, very smart and brave client. In fact, I’d like to suggest that every time the folks at W&K walk to the podium to get copious amounts of awards we’re all sure to hear about over the coming year, they bring that client up there with them. It’s the least they could do.
Consider this: Old Spice has been completely rejuvenated. The ads are amazing, but they’re only a small part of what’s actually been accomplished. Personally I started using Old Spice products a few months ago, but in the last two days alone I have had numerous people tell me they went and bought Old Spice deodorant for the first time in their lives! If you want confirmation, just follow twitter feeds for Old Spice. Did you hear what I just said? There is a stream a mile long of people talking about Old Spice on twitter. Go ahead, just repeat that to yourself and imagine how many brands, especially the ones as old as your fathers father, would love that kind of buzz.
Take a look at http://www.oldspice.com/ . Everything is there: the ads, a blog, new packaging designs, screen savers and ringtones you can download, (my favourite is the traditional whistle) and if you can imagine this, they even had the smarts while shooting for 3 days to record sound bites you could use to create your own voicemail message. Just try it yourself here http://oldspicevoicemail.com/. Did I forget to mention the facebook page? Yeah, they have that too.
The list of what’s been done to give rebirth to this brand is on-going and for many of us, it did start with the ads. Let’s face it, they are amazing. Simple, well crafted in every sense and they’ve managed to strike a chord with everyone, men and women alike. I’ve seen the making of the ads on the news, I’ve heard stories of people that will stop fast forwarding their PVR to watch the spots and of course, I’ve wished that somehow the planets would align so that I could be a part of something so big.
Maybe my favourite part of what’s been done is this just might be the first time I’ve seen a brand and a campaign use all the tools and technology so well. Everything is there, but you don’t feel it. None of it seems forced. They took advantage of what was going on in just the right way. It started organically by the people and they just gave us more. It’s an amazing case study. In fact, that’s exactly what’s it’s going to become – just watch.
I would bet that already, on only the day after the final day of their shooting and live broadcasting, that Old Spice and what they’ve done has been used in board rooms and on conference calls all over the globe. Clients are using it to force agencies to think bigger, to rejuvenate their brands and “do what they did – I don’t care if it’s been done”. Agencies will use it to remove fear of clients who won’t do this stuff until someone else does, “what Old Spice did was this, so we’re going to do it this way, see?”. It’s inevitable. There’s just no way we’re getting rid of this story any time soon. And that’s ok.
In my mind, this is the perfect case study for all brands trying to make it in today’s consumer driven, marketing world. In the end, it still comes down to an idea and the best way to use the tools available. This isn’t about technology, it’s is about connecting, realizing you’re on to something and riding the wave. It’s about finding a way to get a bunch of people on board and making things happen. It’s about new standards and a new Old Spice that has everyone talking. I mean c’mon: I’m on a horse? Brilliant.
So, this is me, talking about you, wishing it was me, now back to you. Congratulations on changing the game.
Doodoo doo dee doo deedoodooo!