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Five For Friday – Old Spice’s Social Media Simplicity

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Assuming you’ve visited the Internet in the last week, you’ve undoubtedly come across Old Spice’s recent social media blitz in some way, shape or form ( & .  While we’ve seen a few articles/blog posts out there debating the merits of the campaign, the overwhelming response in the community has been extremely positive (and “Old Spice” is still trending on Twitter as of this morning).  Personally, we absolutely loved the move.  And here are five reasons why:

1) Flexibility. This is such a driving force in today’s real-time world that we plan to author an entire blog post on the topic in the near future.  We all understand the New World Order as it relates to brand messaging and how information gets distributed online in real-time.  There is no choice but to join the conversation – but that doesn’t just mean simply having a presence on Facebook and Twitter.  No, the brands that will experience true success in this age of Nowism are the ones who have built-in flexibility.  More than just a strategic plan, the cream of the crop brands will instill a culture of adaptability in everything they do – and everybody who does it.  We have some of the greatest, easy-to-use tools at our disposal that make for seamless instant communication to the masses.  But you have to get over the approval processes and brand police that typically add large pockets of time to the process.  Old Spice saw its opportunity to capitalize on the newly popular Old Spice Man character and jumped on it with creativity and aggressiveness.  And as many of us have experienced, the window of opportunity to maximize exposure on the heels of a hot campaign or promotion continually gets smaller and smaller.

2) Humor.  I will never tire of preaching the virtues of being funny.  In everything you do.  Who doesn’t like to laugh?!  This entire campaign was founded on humor and it delivered under the pressures of time and a waiting audience.  I also strongly suspect we’ll see a bunch of memes come directly from these videos.

3) Personalization. We talk about “customizing messages” all the time.  As a great example, we recently sent a handful of “Thank You” cards to clients for no real reason.  Each had a personal message and was hand written.  The reactions were nothing short of fantastic.  Taking that approach and scaling it to an extreme degree, Old Spice pulled off one of the simplest concepts with absolute awesomeness: interact with your customers/fans where they reside (Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, etc.), field their requests/comments and very quickly produce customized content in response.  I believe there were over 100 personalized videos recorded, produced and displayed on Old  Spice’s YouTube page in about a day.  WOW.  Take note, brands, this is how you do it.

4) Influencers.  Celebrities as influencers (by default) has been argued by many industry experts, but that’s for another day.  Suffice to say, celebrity involvement in marketing campaigns draw attention to the brand, instigate buzz and generally get folks talking about what’s going on.  Whether it was by design or not, I’m not sure, but a bunch of celebrities joined in the fun and tweeted the Old Spice guy, to which he supplied entertaining video responses (in particular to Alyssa Milano).  Side note – Alyssa Milano tweeted afterwards that the Old Spice guy sent her flowers!  Actual flowers!

5) Give it to ‘em free. I was recently perusing Jay Conrad Levinson’s 90+ Guerrilla Marketing examples PDF and earmarked one about giving things away free as opposed to going the paid endorser route.  Both approaches certainly work at the appropriate times, but the best part of Old Spice’s move was that it came off as genuine – no paid endorsements, no brand messaging shoved down your throat, no “sign up for our newsletter and get a personalized video message!” call to action.  It was free and easy for consumers/fans and the celebrity involvement was (seemingly) because they wanted to take part in the fun.

Enjoy the weekend!



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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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