Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Women are infatuated with the actor Isaiah Mustafa and men are fascinated with “how did they film that”. This series of commercials are starting to win multiple awards for their creators. Yes, another award winning campaign. Yet with all the infatuation and intrigue surrounding these commercials, one old school question has gone unanswered (at least so far), have Old Spice’s sales increased?
Yesterday I watched an interview on CNN with Jason Bagley the creative director behind the commercial. He was rightfully proud of it, talking about how successful it was in attracting attention and how it has become a phenomenon all in its own right. Yet when pressed by the reporter about if the commercials had improved sales of Old Spice body wash, the answers were evasive and he would merely say “the client was very happy”. Of course the client is happy; everyone is talking about their commercials which have significantly improved brand recognition, but can that be leveraged into sales increases and more profit?
I must admit that I’ve been a naysayer to these commercials from almost the first time I saw them. The Old Spice commercials were not compelling me to go out and buy the body wash they were advertising. Yet yesterday on the CNN interview, they pointed out an interesting fact - over 70% of body wash products in the home were purchased by woman and not guys. So, the commercial is supposed to get women to buy the body wash for the man in their life.
This is where Old Spice has gone Old School. I’m old enough to remember the Old Spice commercials from the late 60s where Old Spice was advertising their aftershave not directly at the men who would use it, but to his family (his wife and children). Everyone tried to whistle like the Old Spice guy; every little boy wanted his dad to put a drop of Old Spice on him just like in the commercials. Every kid I knew wanted to buy a bottle for their father for Father’s Day. They wanted their father to have that Old Spice smell. And yes, many of us did go out and purchase it or at least put pressure on dad to buy it.
So while the sales figures for Old Spice body wash as a result of these new commercials haven’t been made public yet and we don’t know if they’ll be successful financially, they proven one thing even if it wasn’t intentional - that old school still works. What is this old school concept? Target your sales message to the buyers of your product and not necessarily directly at its users and at the same time make them appeal to both and it should be successful. Simply look to what worked in the past to see what will still work today.