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Men’s body wash is a subject that rarely bubbles to the surface on a typical girls night out. But last week that is exactly what three women were chatting about on a muggy summer’s eve in a downtown bar in Durham, NC. The conversation centered on Isaiah Mustafa, host of the new Old Spice body wash campaign created by Portland’s Wieden+Kennedy.
The conversation went something like this: “Have you seen the new Old Spice campaign?” “No, what’s so special about it?” “The guy in it is the perfect man. It is incredibly funny, he walks on water, bakes a cake and SWAN DIVES onto a motorcycle in a Jacuzzi.” “Ahh-mazing.”
Giggles ensued as each woman talked about her “ideal” man. All this before Mustafa and Iain Tait teamed up to do a perfect storm of viral marketing. The 48-hour weekend campaign featured the sultry-voiced, smooth-muscled Mustafa’s filmed responses to a slew of people who posted comments or questions to the Old Spice spokesman online (notable responses are to celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Rose McGowan, and political correspondent George Stephanopoulous). Clearly, Wieden+Kennedy hit a home run with their extended campaign, pulling off the social media marketing event of the year. The original commercial was nominated for a Grand Prix award and the latest installment of YouTube videos should stick with the internet community for a long time and in many manifestations.
More importantly, Wieden+Kennedy may have found the secret to actually selling body wash to men through catering to the eyes and ears of women. For most dudes, body wash is not an inherently cool thing to purchase nor is it top of mind in the store. Guys are known to lather up with any bar, chunk, or semblance of soap hanging out in the shower, leaving appalled women everywhere to search for, long for, and even lust after a character like the Old Spice man played to perfection by the brawny Mustafa. While AXE commercials use bathroom humor and Playboy-style sex appeal to reach their target demographic, the sleepy Old Spice of your grandfather’s generation has wised up and reached out to the holder of the purse strings, the man, man’s woman. Only time will tell the result of Old Spice’s hot new man’s impact on overall sales, currently Red Zone body wash sales have dipped. But hey, it can take awhile to wake a septuagenarian up.
All of the great stuff from Old Spice got me whistling…
Everything old is new again.
As we head into the new fall season, let’s take a peak at what ABC was offering on Friday nights in 1970.
Since I’m sure a lot of people are ready for the long weekend, I’ll post this a day early. If you’re not fortunate to get away for the weekend, maybe Calgon can provide a mini-vacation!