A viral video campaign for Old Spice produced by Wieden & Kennedy.Â The videos take off from Wieden & Kennedy’s successful Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” TV spots featuring Isaiah Mustafa.Â This week, Mustafa has begun responding to scores of blogger comments with personalized videos to the bloggers.Â As a result, 4 of the top 10 spots on the AdAge Viral Video chart this week are occupied by Old Spice videos.
It is unusual to see something truly new in the online space come from a traditional advertising agency, but Wieden & Kennedy and Old Spice have innovated in a memorable way with this latest twist on this clever campaign.Â Breaking the fourth wall between actor and audience is something that has been done on stage and screen (think Moonlighting), but never, as far as we can tell, in advertising.Â Certainly never in this type of personalized fashion that would not have been possible in the era before YouTube.
Isaiah Mustafa’s brash cheekiness in these spots reminds us of the deadpan irony of the Brawny Man in the beloved though short lived Brawny Academy.Â Combining this personality with the innovation of responding directly to bloggers in video spots creates a new form of advertising – call it “youvertising”.Â Â It may be a glimpse into the future of advertising.Â In branding terms, it creates a dimension to the brand persona that may not have existed since brands were actually just tradespeople who knew all their customers personally.
It’s hard to criticize a campaign with low production costs, strong branding appeal and tremendous viral bounce.Â On the other hand, we wouldn’t want to be Isaiah Mustafa stuck in a studio all week recording personal responses to geek bloggers.
Branding Bottom Line:
Old Spice rides Isaiah Mustafa to the top.Â What are the residuals on viral video?