In today's world of fractured audiences, a successful television ad is simply not enough. Brand managers want to see that their campaigns have legs online, in print and on TV. This week, Procter & Gamble ported its popular Old Spice Guy commercials to the social web.
The result? Oh, about 11 million views in three days.
Advertising agency Weiden + Kennedy worked with Procter and Gamble to create the now iconic TV spots of actor Isaiah Mustafa explaining how regular dudes can “Smell like a man, man."
This week, Weiden + Kennedy assembled a group of techies, marketers and writers to create 183 YouTube videos starring Mustafa and addressing individuals on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The team also wisely targeted social media using celebrities and bloggers.
According to ReadWriteWeb:
"The group seeded various social networks with an invitation to ask questions of Mustafa's character, a dashing shirtless man with over-the-top humor and bravado. Then all the responses were tracked and users who contributed interesting questions and/or were high-profile people on social networks are being responded to directly and by name in short, funny YouTube videos. The group has made videos in response to Digg founder Kevin Rose, TV star Alyssa Milano (now big on Twitter) and many more people, famous and not."
Perhaps unneccessarily, Old Spice also purchased a Promoted Tweet to help with the campaign. Why? Because people love this approach. As Videogum put it:
"Well played, multi-million dollar corporation. You get what you want, AS USUAL."
Iain Tait, Global Interactive Creative Director at Wieden, tells ReadWriteWeb:
"In a way there's nothing magical that we've done here. We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we've also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time."
And Old Spice Guy has gotten incredible feedback online, including a love letter/video from Alyssa Milano. A small crink in the plans could be that Milano took the game to a new level. The "Who's The Boss" star has challenged the Old Spice Man — or rather his employer, Procter & Gamble, to donate $100,000 to National Wildlife Fund.
How will Proctor & Gamble respond? Perhaps they won't. The final video shows Isaiah Mustafa signing off: "Like all great things, this too must end...SILVERFISH HANDCATCH!"
Well played, Old Spice, well played.