Old Spice Guy Releases Control of the Internet.
The internet was held hostage this week by Old Spice Guy, who cranked out almost 100 videos in response to questions and comments from viewers (famous and not-so) on social media sites.
This was a campaign that leveraged free distribution channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and others to turn a great commercial concept into a real-time conversation. We could ask him questions, make passive comments, and even ask for his assistance in proposing marriage, and he would answer.
(She said yes).
Yesterday I tweeted a behind-the-scenes article about the setup Wieden & Kennedy (Old Spice/Procter & Gamble's ad agency) used to monitor social dialog, script, film, and deliver the videos.
The thing that is so awesome, other than the fact that it's just a brilliant and funny character, is that it's so easy to do. Not every campaign will have the reach this one did, but a good idea that has legs can reach the masses using the same tools. The personal attention Old Spice Guy gives to viewers strokes their egos, and the social media monitors were strategic in selecting who the videos targeted. Some videos were aimed at celebrities like Alyssa Milano and others were aimed at users with a high influence score. And some videos contained subject matter that was just too good to pass up. The Old Spice Guy voicemail product is here.
The voicemail project is a perfect example of how the creative team was listening to users in real time. When a group of users at the site Reddit wanted to create a voicemail program, the Wieden & Kennedy team quickly scripted messages for the viewers.
So what does this little two-day project mean? Not only did Old Spice Guy secure the entire internet in a giant bear-hug of awesomeness until its head exploded into confetti made of giant humming birds which beat their wings so fast we traveled back in time and then back again, but the brand Old Spice had a monumental day with overwhelmingly positive comments, celebrity endorsements, and exposure across multiple social sites.
Oldspice started the week with less than 16,000 twitter followers. After three days they are up to nearly 75,000. That is an appreciable increase, and the followers will probably stick around for a while to see if Old Spice Guy returns. The YouTube Channel is now over 100,000 subscribers with over 72 million views.
Thanks to everyone involved in this campaign which made it fun to watch a steady string of commercials all day long for two days. I have my own ideas how I can carry some lessons from this campaign over to my clients...how would you use the free tools at your fingertips to make waves? Leave your ideas in the comments.