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How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made (readwriteweb.com)
197 points by salar on July 14, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments

Hey guys, not sure if you know about this yet or if you're interested, but a group of people over at reddit created http://oldspicevoicemail.com using his voice. Go check it out if you get a chance.

If it isn't obvious from the actual content: this was suggested by a Redditor and the official TheGuyOnTheHorse Reddit account posted a YouTube video as a submission.

This is brilliant marketing. They saw and seized an opportunity to let the internet hive mind further their own campaign. All they had to do was film him standing in a bathroom and multiple fan made voicemail generator sites sprung up within minutes. That is super cheap, super effective marketing, for sure... they let someone else do all the hard work! Absolutely incredible.

they should stop doing the videos today, if they haven't already. it was fun for a day (or two) but if they continue, they're just going to get stale. everyone that has seen most of them already are going to get tired of seeing links posted everywhere once they reach past the reddit/twitter crowds, and it'll become like those annoying e-mail jokes your parents forward you.

Right, it wouldn't make sense to keep creating the videos past a certain point. They're going to be able to ride the wave as these videos begin to make the rounds in the social networks.

What they need to do is come up with a second wave of something that they can pull out in a few weeks or months to refresh these videos or build off them. That way they can keep stoking the fire and the process that gets them this coverage will start again.


It reminds me of "Ask a Ninja". It was, in fact, funny for a few videos. Then they got sponsors and showed ads and generally jumped the comedic shark in short order.

The difference though is that Ask a Ninja isn't an advertisement supporting a product. They tried to take it and turn it into a product, which we all know commercializing anything with growing popularity has a very high potential to take away the very appeal that made it popular in the first place.

If they intend to make this more than just a stunt, this needs to be a first step in a major campaign that will include lots of new ideas and tactics to keep it fresh. Hopefully W+K is headed in the right direction and they will keep us entertained and deliver some ROI for Old Spice.

they decided to finish today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFDqvKtPgZo.

I'm amazed at how surgically they're hitting some of the bigger names in the social net to keep the hits going. Hell, they even got MrBabyMan from Digg. That's good work.

I have no idea who that is, but I think we can assume that some of the big advertising agencies have been keeping an eye on the big social news sites for some time.

Possibly the small ones too. Hello ladies!

Yup, simply put they gotta leave you hungering more. It's that hunger that makes you go buy the product.

I'm loving this new advertising strategy, but I'm still not going to buy this product. They've done a great job of making more people aware of the product, but I can't shake the image of my grandfather when I think of Old Spice! (which is not a bad thing, I just don't want to smell like grandfather!)

Actually I've always associated the "new" Old Spice scent with overdone cheap (male) perfume - like that Axe Body spray and others usually used in copious amounts by teenagers/20somethings.

Also, you are on my lawn.

The classic old spice body wash is awesome - really. Have had many chicks as me what it is.

Brilliant campaign. I am glad to see they are getting rewarded. The mix of technology and creativity is impressive. I expect some copycats soon that will get ignored.

My only exposure to the Old Spice campaign so far has been through HN, despite generally considering myself a relatively internet-aware individual. Interesting.

They were huge on Reddit. The old spice guy was doing personalized videos to questions redditors posted.

The Guardian was running an article on the Old Spice commercials yesterday.

The TV commercials were played numerous times during the All-star game yesterday. Clever writing.

Look away. now look back. I'm on a horse.

I had to look up which all-star game you meant.

Baseball's All-Star Game Yields Its Lowest Television Ratings http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07...

Over here (Uruguay) most of us do not know such a thing existed (I believe baseball gets zero coverage, even on local ESPN affiliates).

We're still on a World Cup hangover. (football/soccer World Cup, the one held in South Africa this year).

Back on topic, this is HUGE for Old Spice. Even here in South America it's making waves:

"Old Spice becomes the ad campaign of the year" on an Argentinean blog (spanish)


It's pretty amazing how they made the original Old Spice commercial.

I thought it was mostly CG, however, in reality it's a very clever set construction.

Making of the Old Spice Commerical:


I know I'm fast slipping into old-fart-hood (if not already there), but I don't 'get' the videos' popularity -- they struck me as pretentiously pseudo-cool.

Over-the-top pretentious pseudo-cool! Which means they wrap right around back to cool.

Yes. Everyone knows 'cool' follows pacman rules.

Asteroids did it before Pac-Man.

I love them, mainly because they're a really fun parody of the ridiculousness that their competitors often run (I'm looking at you Axe). They built a character that all at once oozes likability while at the same time pointing out just how stupid the whole idea that using a body-wash will get you laid is.

It may have been a stupid idea, but Axe got hundreds of thousands of prepubescent teenagers using deodorant...their deodorant. And men tend to stick with a brand once they are comfortable with it.

You would think so, but I did actually try it, partially to see if I would get me the attentions of girls.

But I did wait till it was on sale...

Why not just be more direct and say why your product is better than the competition providing scientific studies as evidence?

Why advertise in this way instead?

Because your product is exactly the same as everybody else's. Faced with a choice between Axe, whose ads give off an image I don't like, and Old Spice, whose ads give off an image I do like, I might pick Old Spice.

I'm on a horse.

Seriously though, do you actually not understand that not everybody in the universe is hyper-rational and will occasionally make purchasing decisions based on ineffable considerations of "image", or are you merely rhetorically whining that not everybody in the universe is as hyper-rational as you imagine yourself to be?

You make good points. My wife also agrees with you. I know she agrees with you because the Old Spice body wash appeared next to my shampoo in the shower the day after she saw the first ad in this series.

Apparantly, I should be on a horse.

I hope you bought her two tickets to that thing she likes.

I find that telling jokes is a better way to pick up girls than writing a proof as to why I am a superior mating candidate.

Weird, huh?

I find that writing jokes is a great way to show girls that I am not a superior mating candidate.

You need to find yourself a friend that will be brutally honest on just how bad or offensive your jokes are. I found someone like that quite accidentally and it's really improved the quality of my humor from other people's perspective.

I'm still trying to figure out what makes some stuff funny and others not. For example randomly yelling "You're fuzzy!" at a cat during a heated discussion works if I use it sparingly around my close friends. Other people just give you weird looks. (My rule of thumb: most humor is best used sparingly and definitely around the proper audience.)

Did you actually try it the other way? I think that any girl who would analyze and respond to empirical evidence would be my kind of lady.

Though knowing my luck she'd find the flaws in my experiment and reject me due to a problem with the number significant digits.

you're missing some fingers?

He said significant digits. Not minor ones :P

(sorry, couldn't resist!)

If deodorant were a new product that solved a new problem, the informational approach would be appropriate. But since deodorant is a commodity and they all pretty much work, this kind of marketing isn't effective anymore, so the brand-building marketing begins.

Because their brand isn't better than the competition - it's just different. Old Spice and their competitors all have pretty much the same ingredients (save their scents), and work pretty much the same - and if one is slightly better, it's so little that you wouldn't lead an ad with that even if you could find a number.

Since they can't sell a concrete product as better than another one, they're selling the associated image - and betting that you will buy one of many indistinguishable products (theirs) because you like that image.

It's like Coke vs, Pepsi (or Sprite vs. 7-Up) - in a blind test, they taste pretty much the same. One isn't empirically better than the other. So instead they sell the images the drinks associate and the brands, and compete in that sphere.

> It's like Coke vs, Pepsi (or Sprite vs. 7-Up) - in a blind test, they taste pretty much the same.

Except they don't, those tests only confirm that many people have a crappy sense of taste or are only sipping and not taking a big enough drink to tell the difference. No blind test would stop me from spitting out Pepsi because it's way too sweet.

You should have somebody give you a blind test the appropriate way: By giving you 3 cups, 2 with drink A, 1 with drink B.

There is a scientific way to measure the delta of 2 flavors and Coke and Pepsi are quite similar. So similar that in a proper test like I'd laid out above, only a fraction of participants can tell the oddball from the group.

> only a fraction of participants can tell the oddball from the group.

I don't doubt that, but I'd be one of those; they are significantly different to me, but I quit drinking soda a while ago, that shit's just bad for you.

Because most people don't care about scientific studies, and your competitor can also "fund" and "report" on a scientific study that favors his product.

I have to disagree, after watching these videos, I know about old spice (Brand awarness), and if I have to choose from 10 deos in a shop, guess wich one I'll pick in the first place! I guess I'm not alone.

The cheapest one, or the one on sale?

"Why advertise this way?"

How else is your brand going to be talked about incessantly and shared over the Internet by millions across the world? All in a 24/48 hour period. No other brand is currently being talked and raved about currently and in the same volume.

I'd love to see the effect this campaign had on their sales.

Other crazy factors involved:

1. You can't smell the product when you're in the store, so you have to know more about the product either through brand awareness or referral.

2. Like cologne, the smell you give off from a deodorant is about projection. Who you want to smell like is probably going to be more of a priority to potential customers than what you want to smell like.

> You can't smell the product when you're in the store,

What? Here (Australia), you usually end up with a can put to one side on the shelf that people can spray on their wrist to smell-test.

Also like cologne, the same "stuff" smells different on different people due to body chemistry.

This would be just like shaving blades which were mentioned on here the other day, they tend to compete on supposed advanced function when it just becomes a stupid game of adding one extra feature all the time when we just want something that works for shaving.

I've seen ads here recently for deodorants that change smell over time, I guess that's one of that gimmiky "features".

Also these items are in the price range where I don't really want to waste my time thinking much about pros/cons so this advertising becomes more effective. As opposed to an item like a computer where I would analyse the specs of most of the components making advertising less useful.

Business school exists for people like you.

This seems like a perfectly reasonable question that might stimulate interesting "meta" discussion about marketing.

There is an old advertising maxim: "Sell the sizzle, not the steak."

The maxim exists because selling the sizzle works much better. The current Old Spice ad campaign is the best modern example of selling the sizzle.

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