In the past, my impression of Old Spice was that it was old fashioned, for seniors, etc. I'm just one consumer, but if this was a common perception, it looks like Old Spice identified their weakness and targeted it. If you ask me today what my impression of Old Spice is, it's quite different. They're a company willing to make unique commercials and take some risks. They have new scents are targeted at a younger crowd (I remember seeing After Hours in stores) and I no longer view the company as "old" Old Spice. Even though my perception has changed, I don't view it as being convinced or tricked as a consumer, but a reinterpretation of a company based on their actions. I've been wrong before.
I don't know whether it's something to do with the economy (since it's very affordable compared to designer brands) or whether the firm identified a generational cycle affecting their sales and made a conscious decision to build a long-term strategy around it, which Proctor & Gamble have just perpetuated. I remember buying Old Spice for my Dad, then buying some of their wares for myself back in the 90s because it amusingly 'retro' or ironic, and a few years from now I'll be the grateful Dad getting a bottle for Christmas. During the same period they've switched their logo from an old-fashioned 3-masted sailing ship to a sporty modern yacht...and back again.
Yes, bottle - the after-shave comes in the same container that it did when I was a boy and thought OS epitomized grown-up man stuff. Back then it was advertised (on TV at Christmas, and in the cinema all year around) with a 30 second clip of a guy surfing, set to Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana' . That seems like cheesy nostalgia now, but back in the 1970s it was the media equivalent of a hand grenade - overtly masculine, movie-quality eye candy, and unquestioning self-confidence. Sound familiar? And notice, if you will, that it's both new and 'classic'. Rather like their marketing strategy :-)
(edited to remove ambiguity)
Focus on "if your peer group thinks it's cool, that actually does make it better than the alternatives" instead of "different from a computer purchase" and it should make sense.
Also, I think that "a computer purchase among geeks" would have been better. Why? We, as geeks, are much, much more likely to ignore the opinions of others and chose a computer on its own merits, instead of as a fashion accessory. Whereas a non-computer geek would be more likely to choose to use a Mac because they're the cool option and many of their friends like/have/want them.
Yes, non-techies do seem quite likely to ask their friends for advice on computers, and take cues from what their friends have and what they've said about them. Word of mouth is powerful.
I don't think that this is true. The product being tracked here is a body wash; its purpose is to keep you clean (which does, I suppose, improve how others see you). I may choose one body wash over another based on how I expect it to be perceived, but I think it's an exaggeration to say that that's its sole purpose. (I used Old Spice deodorant for a long time, because it was cheap and it worked; it had nothing to do with other people's images of me.)
They're also doing some work that may be interesting to the HN crowd over at http://www.wk.com/incubator. If I were a far more brilliant and creative person, I'd love to just hang out with their directors: they do a consistently good job in an area that's very hard to get right again and again over time.
W+K are featured prominently, as are most of the other stalwarts of the marketing industry.
Not that this detracts from W + K's success record.
It's really interesting to hear some of their past success, but randomly attributing any good campaign to them seems a little strange to me. :)
That would be strange, and is probably an aid in the interpretive task of reading the post ;)
"In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity requires interpreting a speaker's statements to be rational and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation."
Great commercial, though. Their "Take it to the Next Level" from two years ago was great too.
via my brother at Nielsen, who whould happily tell me if the numbers were bull.
And even those numbers were suspect, as there was another retail data source that said the opposite -- that sales were slightly up..
I never believed for a second that the latest campaign ended up as a LOSS.
(I still haven't actually bought any, though, as I still can't get over my mental image of Old Spice as "really cheap cologne.)
As an example to support my argument, I'm in the process of making a classic cologne that requires some alcohol, (preferably very hard alcohol), some things from your spice cabinet, a few leaves, and more alcohol. I decided to grow my own leaves, and thus am currently in the 'grow the tree phase', but really that's not even necessary.
Still, if you want to do double-blind experiments on Old Spice vs Christian Dior vs your leaves-in-alcohol by spraying young men with each and seeing who attracts more women, I'll be interested to see the results.
That would be a very interesting trial. I haven't even the faintest clue how you would determine whether the scent was causing the man to smell sexy vs good/pleasant though. Or maybe those are one in the same, I don't know.
I guess it's a case of not knowing if their really is a difference between the expensive stuff and the cheaper stuff.
ps. The markup on cologne/perfume is ridiculous, it's liquid gold and why so many celebrities release their own variation. Your impression of cheap is simply defined by luxury pricing and marketing.
Take, for example the Philips "Carousel" Ad, which was for all intents and purposes a high-budget short film that happened to be paid for by Philips as a way to promote their support of the depicted cinematic aspect ratio.
They aren't all cinematic genius, but it's tremendously disingenuous to write ads off entirely due to some perceived taint associated with selling a product.
It's like the people who spent upwards of $500 on the Humble Indie Bundle: providing positive feedback to encourage things like it to happen in the future.
Treating it as a donation doesn't make sense, of course, and I have to agree that advertisements shouldn't be considered art, except in the most dramatic examples. Perhaps the meaning of art is a bit narrow, though; advertisements can certainly be artistic.
People didn't spend $500 on the Humble Indie Bundle so they would put out more ads did they? They wanted to support indie games, no?
The commercials and publicity put Old Spice in their mind when they went to buy that type of product.
Old Spice isn't trying to prove it has a good product. We know that. Rather, it's reminding us to make that choice Old Spice.
If you want to know more check out this video:
Anyway, while I'm perfectly willing to accept that phthalates are dangerous in sufficiently large quantities (this holds for pretty much any organic chemical) I remain unconvinced by the unproven assertion that it holds a significant risk of sterility when applied externally to the skin in small quantities in the small concentrations present in cheap cologne. Alcohol is also present in colognes, and that's well known to have all sorts of bad effects at large dosages.
I'm also skeptical of the even broader claim that exposure to phthalates is why one in five couples is infertile. Infertility has a zillion different causes, from Robertsonian translocations to endometreosis, and is a common human problem dating back to antiquity (see, for instance, the Bible, where every second woman is apparently infertile, at least until God shows up).
The burden of proof is on you, and you have yet to cite a reference :-)
Or did you just want us to do our own research, and somehow find that paper, which you might be talking about and come to an agreement with you?
Google just did an SVG on a bunch of matrices to find the websites you'd most likely end up on if you randomly walked over the entire internet. It's deceptively simple, but only in retrospect.
And I still dont like aldehyde based scents, and prefer my herbalist to make my own scents. They cost a bit more than normal, but last years. Guess that's the kind of people I associate with being a witch and all.
Last I know she was in the Kansas City area going to Lillies War, part of the SCA. She travels the world for different botanicals, and buys else what she cannot retrieve. She extracts these botanicals herself. The last I heard, she had 6 different amber oils, all dependent on the amber used.
The most impressive thing about this all is her: she can separate each individual scent from already-done compounds. And she has this cool ability that if she meets you, she 'knows' the perfect scent for you.
I will see if I can get permission for me to give you her contact information. Usually after Lillies War, she's swamped.
Yeah, I met a used car dealer like that once.