Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do Not Try This at Home: “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like” Campaign

Is the Old Spice man truly perfect? Is the campaign P&G launched in 2010 going to be impossible for Old Spice and other companies to match? As a senior Integrated Marketing Communications student at Northwestern University I am going to argue why it is going to take nearly a miracle for anyone to replicate the marketing campaign.
            Before continuing any further, I would like to describe the campaign quickly to refresh your memory as to what the Old Spice “Man Your Man Can Smell Like” campaign is. The campaign, run by Weiden+Kennedy, first aired in February 2010 during the Super Bowl. Videos hit youtube, Facebook, and other online media sources the following day and the campaign became viral almost immediately. The campaign ran for 6 months ending in a week where Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice man, shot 186 youtube responses to questions tweeted at Old Spice. Some of the people the Old Spice man responded to include Perez Hilton and Jessica Alba. In August of that year when the numbers came out, Proctor & Gamble, Old Spice’s parent company, must have been ecstatic. Old Spice body wash revenue had jumped 55% and had become the leading man’s body wash.
            So, why can’t this campaign be replicated? The answer lies with why it was so successful. The campaign marketed to women by having Isaiah Mustafa in a towel the entire commercial, while being funny enough that guys didn’t care he was just in a towel and flirting with their women through a screen. Proctor & Gamble found that in the 70% of households, women purchase the body wash. Naturally that was their target market. What they did brilliantly, though, was find the right actor to market to women. Isaiah Mustafa is an ex-professional NFL player. What makes him great is that he exuded friendliness and humor, he was not overly intimidating towards men and perfectly romantic with women, he had never been seen before and that allowed him to flourish without negative media in his past. He was perfect.
            The next reason I believe this campaign cannot be replicated is because Proctor & Gamble have a nearly infinite budget, and because of this were able to air the first commercial during the Super Bowl. I would assume that it is rare to find many mens body wash companies that have that kind of budget.
            The most important reason, in my opinion, is that it was relatable and actually connected with the audience. Everything about the commercial, from the actor to the humor to the ridiculous sequence of events throughout the commercial had people talking. In the final week of the campaign alone, the video responses received over 40 million views. Since then the number of views have grown and will continue to grow.  
            All these factors brought together make this the most perfect campaign of my time and make it impossible to replicate. It because of these reasons that Dairy Queen, with those obvious knock offs, will never have anywhere near the same success. The only reason why the new Heineken commercials are able to be successful is because they are combining aspects from “The Most Interesting Man in the World” with the Old Spice man and making the only audio in the commercial very catchy songs. So I urge other companies, please don't try to replicate this, it is nearly impossible.

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