If you are one of the few who have not watched the Old Spice YouTube ads, you are missing the most successful viral, video marketing campaigns ever.
Actor and a former, retired football star Isaiah Mustafa, engages viewers with his bare-chested, suave, smooth-talking charm, that has resulted in 10s of millions of views, millions of comments, thousands of tweets to him, including questions from the likes of political commentator George Stephanopolous.
Why has Old Spice been so successful creating such mass viral appeal. Every video they launch receives massive iewership and they continue to lead the viral charts. So it is not accident.
What is their secret sauce or smell? It's easy to Monday morning quarterback why, however there are a few lessons that marketers and pr pros can learn.
1) Public Participation : Old Spice pushes the edges and engages consumers directly. No editing, just good old fashioned, I'll give you a line and you use it. Old Spice gets the 30 second lines for Isaiah Mustafa from the public and creates the spots directly around these prosumer's comments.
2) Real Time : The Old Spice team makes real time video responses. It's old news though old media still doesn't quite get it. This is a conversation. A person, tweets, and in minutes Old Spice responds. The public is tired of boar room marketing tricks, Madison Avenue overdone humour & high- brow pitches. We wan't real. We wan't real time. We want real people. We want real brands to talk to us, not at us.
3) Fun & Freedom to Improvise : the platforms for doing this kind of marketing exist. Twitter gives brands instant access to consumer input. A twitter account is free. Real time filming is done easily with flips, a few computer graphic designers, and a great personality. There is nothing fancy here. It's inexpensive, fun and it works, big time.
3.) Go For It Attitude : Brands need to stop taking themselves so seriously. Have they not yet realized that they do not own their own brand. Their brand is the space the occupy in the mind of the consumer. There is enough going on in the world that is serious. So if you want some of that mind space, tet talented, creative, people who are in the flow of technology and change and let them do the things they know how to. Suits step out of the way. We are living in a "brand" new world where meritrocracy trumps seniority.
4.) Team Work : Let the team do the work. It is not longer a top down organizational structure that should dictate marketing and public relations. Your employees aer number one. Creative brands let creative people do the work. Traditional business, old media, pyramid style organizations need to flatten the marketing and public realtions's side of their business and let the people who do creative and understand social media do their jobs. Veto power from the top is the wrong way to go. Haven't smart business strategists been saying this for years?
Is is possible to recreate what Old Spice has accomplished? Probably not. Who wants a copy of an original, anyway? What do you think?