Old Spice Man's Mad Social Skillz

Old Spice Man Youtube Screenshot

I can already picture a new shelf being added to the awards cabinet at Wieden + Kennedy, following the Old Spice campaign. Let's take in some numbers:

In 48 hours, the team led by Brit, Iain Tait, produced 200 videos and wracked up 6,839,830 YouTube views (at time of writing ~72hrs from launch). The media coverage has been almost universally positive, even daring to engage with the notorious troublemakers at 4chan.

The videos have clocked up the top three slots (4 in total) of AdAge's Viral Chart and in all likelihood will take over the whole chart next week.

It's certainly a daring move from client (P&G) and their agency. The deftness of touch in the adverts has to be admired. It's gentle too, watch a few videos and you'll quickly notice or rather won't notice the Old Spice mentions.

The clever part is in how the respondees were chosen, largely based on their influence across the social web, including a selection of social media-friendly celebs and major publishers. There's even a spot of tongue-in-cheek, or rather, razor-on-cheek, cross-promotion.

ReadWriteWeb have blogged the production process which despite the intensity doesn't seemed to have dimmed the agency staffers' enthusiasm for the campaign. Celebrity fans include US actress Alyssa Milano whose personalised message Old Spice Man resulted in a to-and-fro including a message filmed in her bathroom and roses as part of their "love-filled trust explosion". 

And if proof were needed, other than squillions of video views, that the brand has engaged it's audience fans of news aggregator Reddit have produced the Old Spice Man voicemail generator in 48hrs (listen to Chinwag's effort) by cutting together audio clips from the commercials.

Of course, to every upside, there's a downside. To every ying, a yang. Brace yourself for an avalanche of Old Spice Man-alike campaigns to be unleashed over the next few months. The real challenge is whether anyone can re-create this kind of impact, or has the first campaign in the space grabbed the goodies?

Update: and, of course, the parodies have started...


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