It’s not just an antiperspirant, it’s an Odor Blocker. And he’s not just a man in a commercial, he’s The Man, your man could smell like. Who would have imagined that such a thing as Old Spice, a brand that has been around since the mid-1930s could generate such buzz for its manly man advertisements? But tens of millions of YouTube views and counting, means the Old Spice ads definitely own the new media. Research has shown that the Old Spice ads are more viral than Susan Boyle, among others. Everywhere there is much analysis on the viralness of the videos and how in the post-feminist era, can a company advertise ‘swagger’ and get away with it. Who would have thought Old Spice? The brand that got its name from the founder’s mixing up his mother’s old spices and scents. What gives?
While it may all seem random and unplanned, the creative team behind the videos actually did much strategizing. The popular reply video portrays the actor, Isaiah Mustafa responding in a seemingly random manner to Tweets and comments. However, the creative team set out to engage communities. In one case, they knew that Digg founder, Kevin Rose was ill so they made a “Get Well” video for him, which was a hit with the Digg community. Then they posted the Kevin Rose video to Reddit to capitalize on the rivalry between Reddit and Digg. They then took aim at “Anonymous,” who creates buzz everywhere but is nowhere to be seen. Then came traditional buzz makers, Ashton Kutcher, Alyssa Milano and for the wonks, George Stephanopoulos. Most of all the team was quick and witty, getting it all done on the fly to deliver instantly to the internet. Nothing is random.
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