Friday, July 16, 2010

The Old Spice guy reminds me of an elderly, female comedienne


Back when I used to do stand up comedy, one of the things I learned that was really effective was what's called a topper. That's when you follow up a strong punch line with another thought that's related and funnier.
Are you familiar with Mrs. Hughes? She's a stand up comedian –– a really good one –– who happens to be a grandmother. She has a joke that goes something like this: “People ask me all the time what's the secret to a long, happy marriage. Well, I can tell you the secret to a long one.”
(That's the punch line.)
“It's children.”
(That's the topper.)
She follows this formula over and over throughout her act and it's what makes her so damn funny.
Which brings me to 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like'.
As I've mentioned before, the initial spot was brilliant. With its unconventional structure, dead-perfect delivery, and beautifully choreographed effects, it was the advertising equivalent of a really great joke. And kudos to Wieden + Kennedy, they came up with a topper that makes it even better.
The topper uses Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where people can send messages to the Old Spice guy, hundreds of which are "replied to" in individual "spots".
It's not only a brilliant extension of an advertising campaign into social media, but it also happens to be perfectly consistent with the brand personality the ad agency established.
And up to this point, I'm not saying anything that thousands of reporters and bloggers haven't already said. There is an important conclusion to be drawn, though, that most of the rabid fans of social media seem not to have noticed: The phenomenon was created using conventional broadcast advertising and the role of social media was to extend it.
Could 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' have been created using anything other than broadcast advertising? No. And that's important.
Advertising isn't going away. Social media isn't going away, either. And while the two camps often like to cast this as a war between two competing paradigms, the reality –– proved by Wieden + Kennedy, is that they are actually two parts to the same, emerging paradigm.
What Wieden + Kennedy did with this campaign was execute in both realms flawlessly. For that, they have my vote as Company Most Likely To Move Marketing Communications Into The Future.