Friday, 16 July 2010

Move over Meerkat, Old Spice is the new guy on the web

What’s 71 years old, looks fantastic in a towel and smells great. That's right, Old Spice baby. In the past couple of weeks Old Spice guy has stormed the Internet, in what is without doubt this year's 'Compare the Meerkat', in terms of it's impact, engagement and huge, fast-growing fanbase.

At the heart of the project is Old Spice guy, a smooth talking, towel wearing, hottie, loved by men and women alike. While the TV advertising sets out his buff credentials, the online activity has taken the campaign way beyond TV's dreams.

Since Tuesday, Old Spice guy has been personally responding to questions posed by fans and online big hitters alike. So far, the team has shot over 200 30 second video responses posted on Youtube, each within a couple of hours of the original question. The video postings have so far prompted over 10 million views in just 3 days and grown a Facebook fan base of over 500,000.

Undoubtedly the key to the Old Spice success has been the digital engagement strategy. The strategy sits at the heart of what started out as a TV ad aimed at going viral. The social media phenomenon that was Meerkat, started out as a side project which successfully grew exponentially as time went on. The recognition by P&G and Wieden and Kennedy (the agency behind the campaign) was that online social media needed to be, 'as well as', the TV not 'instead of'.

This has taken bravery and trust from the client, who are effectively handing over sign-off of, what are effectively, 100, 30 second TV spots, per day and enormous commitment and resource from the agency. There is currently a team of techies, film crew, analysts, marketers, writers and producers holed-up in a studio somewhere in Portland, Oregon working round the clock to get these things out.

As has been proved time and again digital and social media in particular is not the easy option. It takes a herculean effort of co-ordination, man-hours and creativity. Given the right time and space though, the rewards can be countless. Monocle smile @-)

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