This just in: despite the massive viral popularity of the Old Spice guy, sales of Old Spice are down.
Shocker. I don’t care how fun/viral/clever/sexy/whatever you dub the campaign, at the end of the day, it’s still Old Spice, the cologne of a million grandpas of yesteryear.
Here’s the thing: how much of the incredible buzz about this campaign has come from industry insiders who have a vested interest in it being a success for P&G? I mean, sure a bunch of social media consultants, ad agencies and general Kool-Aid drinkers (myself among them, of course) WANT this campaign to be a success because we all stand to look more credible if this does turn out to be a slam-dunk for Old Spice and P&G. Why? Because we’re trying to make money and/or a career creating this exact kind of campaign for other brands.
For a less high-profile effort, P&G could easily ax the campaign and choose a different strategy. Lowering its price might be an option. But cancelling Old Spice Guy while he’s a certified media darling — do a search for “Old Spice” in Google News and you’ll see what I mean — would be a PR debacle.
The shame of it is that ad biz folk have been urging P&G to get more creative for years. And the company has responded. Not so long ago, virtually every P&G commercial featured a housewife in a kitchen worrying over why she couldn’t get her husband’s shirts/plates/floor clean. Now, P&G is regarded as one of the more innovative marketers on the planet despite its elephantine corporate size. That’s an unusual combination….