Communications Campaign Corner

The Brand Your Brand Could Be Like - Old Spice

Old Spice’s brand equity spent years deteriorating as its products sat on shelves becoming obsolete. That is until one ingenious communications campaign completely turned the company around, revitalizing Old Spice and providing them with a new brand that consumers have come to love once again. This is the ever so popular The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign. This was originally a 30 second TV advertisement, but shortly went viral on YouTube. It then spilled over into an ingenious social media campaign. For the purpose of this report I will focus specifically on the original television advertisements. In the three years since the commercial debuted is has collected over 44 million views on You Tube. The campaign was originally created to promote Red Zone After-Hours body wash but proved to be so successful that it was expanded to include various products.

The original add features a suave, overly manly, and witty Isaiah Mustafa speaking directly to not men but women who are watching the commercial. It is shot in a single take where there main character is changing locations/scenarios while commenting with impeccable and hilarious timing. The add pokes fun at the stereotypical fantasies of women that both men and women will get a kick out of

Target Audience and Positioning

This advertisement is unique compared to other men’s body care products such as Axe. This is due to the fact that it is targeted directly at women and not at men. Old Spice recognized that it was women who did most of the shopping in families for body/bath products. The advertisement speaks directly to women in hopes that they will recall the Old Spice name while at the store grabbing soap for their husband, son, or significant other. The demographic that Old Spice was likely trying to target with this advertisement is middle aged women (30+) who are either married or are living with their significant other.

This is not to say that the campaign does not appeal to men as well. Women, men, adults, and youth will all enjoy the advertisement just the same. Considering that women do most shopping for products such as this in families, the target male is one who is young (18-30) who is single or in a relationship, independent, and wants to smell good for the women in his life.

Old Spice attempted to get away from being recognized as a father’s brand and reposition itself as an upbeat, current brand for younger generations. Their current position is body products for men of all ages who want to feel manly and smell desirable for women.

Using Emotional Appeal

The male body care segment is fairly homogenous, with no one product truly standing out from another. This advertisement uses purely emotional appeal to build connections with the audience. This is accomplished through a variety of affective tactics. It is hilarious, cleaver, and the viewer is always glad to watch it again. Evidence of this is the extreme popularity it gained on You Tube; people would view it repeatedly and share it with their friends. The advertisement leaves you in a good mood, consequently increasing the likability of the brand. Although very comedic and exaggerated, it leverages the emotion of desire as well, although it serves second to humor. The character is smooth, handsome, and desirable, something that most men want to be. At the same time women may desire to be with such a man, thus motivating them to buy the product for the men in their life.

The advertisement uses a pure world of fantasy to execute its message. Its whole plotline revolves around the stereotypical fantasies of women. Hilarious transitions of scenery fly by while the character describes how desirable he is… and how your man could smell like him. Some of the fantasies that the commercial leverages are yachts, diamonds, tickets to a special event, and of course, horses.

The effectiveness of this advertisement boils down to one thing; they built a fantastic character for the brand that was funny and likeable. Old Spice indirectly used Isaiah Mustafa, an ex NFL player, as a spokesperson for the brand. The message of the commercial, however, does not hinge on the credibility of Isaiah as a spokesperson. It is his character that is important, as most people will recognize him as “the Old Spice guy” before anything else. Isaiah’s character established a new personality for the Old Spice brand that consumers can create emotional bonds with.


The Impact on Consumers

This campaign really does not say anything about Old Spice. It simply provides entertainment for the viewer that increases the likability of the brand. The goal of this campaign is not to teach consumers about the attributes of Old Spice products. This would be redundant considering most products in this market are homogeneous. It aims to make Old Spice a “top of the mind” brand that consumers will recall when thinking about men’s body care products. This associates with the awareness, liking, and preference stages of the Hierarchy of Effects model. Consumers will begin liking and even preferring the product to others in its category even though they may know nothing about it because of the emotional connections that they make with the brand through this campaign. This will impact the need recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives stages of the purchase decision process.


The Next Move

An expansion on this Old Spice campaign should maintain the same objectives as the original campaign. This is because it is what fits the characteristics of the product best. Old spice needs to keep producing commercials that are similar to the original - meaning they are witty, clever, and funny – in order to sustain the likeability of their brand and remain at the top of consumer’s heads

The campaign was incredibly successful at increasing brand awareness and communicating the new position of the Old Spice brand. Since the increase in sales due to the campaign has been so dramatic this may not even be a necessary step, but there is always an option to offer sales promotions in store in order to further differentiate Old Spice from competitors on the shelf and ultimately solidify Old Spice as the consumers top choice when they are in the store making their purchase decision. These can come in the form of coupons or price-offs. The easy recognition of the brand, emotional connections that consumers develop with it, and savings added on top of these will make Old Spice that much more attractive than competitors.

The campaign influenced at least one consumer...

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