I’ve been thinking about writing a post about the newest Old Spice Guy commercial for several days. Yesterday, I found an article on Advertising Age about that newest commercial that includes some interesting statistics which support the post I was planning, so here goes my take on it.
The Old Spice Guy commercials have been very successful in making an old brand that many people associated with their grandfathers into a brand that younger generations are actually pausing to consider. Both male and female audiences are talking about the Old Spice Guy commercials with the newest commercial (and my favorite so far) getting 3.4 million views on YouTube in the first week that it was released. You can view it below.
One of the things that keeps the Old Spice Guy commercials alive is the company’s willingness to give up control of their content. When an Old Spice Guy commercial is uploaded to YouTube, people use clips to create their own videos. They talk about the commercials, share them, and make them their own. That’s a brand manager’s dream come true. However, giving up control of a brand isn’t something that most large companies are willing to do yet. The Old Spice success is a perfect example of how the power of the social web can drive brand buzz, but unless a company is willing to lose control to a certain extent, that buzz potential is very limited.
It’s still unknown whether or not the Old Spice Guy commercials are actually driving sales, but those metrics are more important when it comes to tracking actual advertising performance. When it comes to tracking social media marketing success, brand conversations and sharing are far more important and indicative of an initiative’s performance in terms of building brand value, creating brand advocates, and generating word-of-mouth marketing.
Based on the number of social web views of the most recent ad (previous ads each generated over 2 million views online within the first week after their releases), Old Spice is definitely benefiting from a strong social media buzz generated by the ads. The question is whether or not the company can sustain that buzz, deliver on the brand’s promise, and meet consumer expectations for the brand again and again. Only then will that buzz turn into long-term, sustainable growth for the brand and business.
What do you think? Will the Old Spice Guy commercials have a long-term positive impact on the Old Spice brand and business? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.