July 14th, 2010

Old Spice = Brilliant

Over the past two days, I have been reacting like one of Pavlov’s dogs to a bell every time @oldspice tweets a new video.  The Old Spice “Smell Like an Old Spice Man” commercials are viral hits online.  As a result, fans have shared, commented, and clicked play many times over the last several months.  For the last two days, Old Spice has capitalized on that popularity by creating (so far) almost 200 response videos, in real time, to its fans.  The videos are often less than 30-seconds, but in each one, the Old Spice Guy personally addresses a commenter (from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Reddit) and provides a clever quip, thereby endearing the brand to that commenter (as well as all their friends).  The videos are coming so frequently and are so funny, it is quite easy to find myself clicking through to each one as it is posted.  (And so are many, many others: YouTube’s servers are having trouble keeping up today.)

This idea is brilliant because it exploits the basic premise of social media: two-way communication and sharing.  And it leverages the benefit of digital media: immediate communication and sharing.

As brilliant as the idea is, I am most impressed with the production coordination that must be going on behind the scenes to keep up the posting pace of these videos.  I wonder how many people are monitoring the web for comments, then mining those comments for potential humorous responses?  And, how many copywriters are standing by to write these hundreds of 30-second scripts on the spot?  And, the clients must be on the set to approve on-site.  Then there is the actual video production crew, shooting and transferring the video straight to the web.  And there must be a person/people posting the videos and tweeting them out.  This must be one large and fun team, but I bet they are getting tired.  The production turnaround is impressive: I would love to see a behind the scenes/”making of” video after this stunt is complete.

This has been a successful scheme for the Old Spice brand: everyone is talking about it.  Quite a brilliant idea, indeed.

Here are some of the responses I have enjoyed most:

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