I was brought up using soap.So while I may have seen the Old Spice guy once or twice on TV, the spot sailed quietly over my head without intruding on my purchase behavior.
It took television + YouTube + email from friends to get my
attention - which seems to be the way things work in the heated up mediasphere
we occupy. It’s not enough to
simply spend lots of money airing your message either. If the advertising doesn’t ignite a
firestorm of chatter the product is likely to languish. It might keep its spot in the
plan-o-gram, but there’s no guarantee.
Once, buying a bunch of TV time and sending the foot soldiers on their
way with a promotion was all you needed to get famous and move product. As Marvin Hoenig, a great DDB writer, once
said - “I have a BIG idea. Spend 20
million bucks on it.” You have to
be lots craftier these days.
What’s interesting about the OSG spot is how P&G has
changed. And how it hasn’t.
Kennedy was obviously given lots of rope.
And after some false starts they finally got just about everything right The right actor, with the right smirk,
the right sense of humor and self mockery, and the right set of words - a
surprising progression of set ups in which production values don’t overwhelm
the story or the presenter. Nice.
But while P&G has lightened up over they years, they haven’t lost their soap opera mojo. Once upon a time, P&G required that every frame in a storyboard have a written justification. Whether they still ask for that I don’t know. But every frame in this OSG spot is devoted to the story, and the proposition. Wacky as it seems, it’s a very disciplined commercial. Not a frame wasted. To top it off, Ad Age reports that Old Spice body wash has actually gained market share since the spot and its online components appeared.
How often does that happen?