Posts Tagged 'Old Spice'

Social Media & The Evolution of Cats

Repost from the Social Penguin Blog

Cats have really had the internet meme down for quite some time now. When Icanhazcheezburger (or Lolcats) came along in 2007 everyone realized just how much mileage could be made from funny pictures of cats. Many emails and memes shared later (Google Basement Cat for a start) Cravendale have taken that one step further and are trying to start their own internet cat meme, only these guys are going for the viral video campaign (ala Old Spice) instead of cats with captions.

Captions on Cats

Captions on Cats

Cravendale are playing on the very most primal fear of everyone who has ever owned a cat…they’ve given cats opposable thumbs! (God help us) Bertrum Thumbcat is the avatar of these videos, much like Aleksandr Orlov of Compare the Meercat fame, and we can learn more about his devious schemes for world domination through his Twitter and Facebook pages.

In a similar strain to Old Spice Cravendale have started creating a serious of new videos to answer the questions of followers on Twitter and Facebook who have asked questions such as “Can a Thumbcat Blend?“, “Can a Thumbcat review an excellent book?” and “Can a Thumbcat play in goal for England?” (Nice of them to give us poor humans some potential weaknesses to exploit before they try to take over the world.)

What gives this campaign the potential to grow some legs is that Cravendale are encouraging everyone to get involved and send in their own pictures and videos of the their very own thumbcats, potentially prompting the same kind of public reaction that Lolcats had. This campaign isn’t just social either, as Cravendale are also encouraging this campaign through traditional print media too.

It’s hard to say what kind of impact cats with thumbs will have (other than making cat owners lose sleep at night.) It has share value, being funny and it works well with people outside of social media as you feel inclined to pass this on to the “cat people” you know. (Best for them to be forewarned isn’t it?) However Old Spice had two things going for it, it was first and it was an American campaign meaning it was discussed a lot more by the industry and it had a much larger audience. This is the first big campaign that feels like it has been influenced by the things the guys at Wieden and Kennedy did for Old Spice last year. Thumbcats hasn’t really reached that critical mass yet which is why it will be interesting watch and see what has had more of an impact on the campaign, the social media aspects or the traditional media.

Above all things we need to keep a more vigilant eye on our cats, they have plans and they know we’re on to them now. *looks over shoulder warily*

Follow up to “the Old Spice effect”

Way back in Feb/Mar of this year I posted here on the blog about a video I anticipated would go viral on youtube. It was the very first of a series of Old Spice ads featuring Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice guy that caused a sensation last week when Old Spice kicked off an exciting social media campaign creating custom videos for people posting questions to then on several social media channels. I posted the below article on the Social Penguin blog last week right in the middle of the campaign, this is the article again with some extra commentary on the stories that came after, you should definitely check out the original post for all the great comments people made.

July 13th shall hence forth be renamed Old Spice Day, there isn’t a nationally recognised holiday that day and obviously they saw an opening. Yesterday Old Spice kicked off on what may be one of the finest social media campaigns in recent times, all off the back of a series of TV spots that went viral on Youtube.

Back in February Old Spice launched “The Man your Man could smell like” TV spot in USA that has thus far racked up over 12 million views. Several other ads have followed and have reached the meme stage of an internet viral being compared to the Chuck Norris jokes of old. The ads, masterminded by Portland based creative agency Wieden and Kennedy and featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa, were a breath of fresh air to the brand which suffered with being associated with a much older audience and sought to show us all of the amazing things an Old Spice man is capable of. (Like swan diving off a waterfall, see below.)

On July 13th Old Spice became a promoted tweet on Twitter to encourage followers to tweet a question to the Old Spice guy who would reply with a personalised video on Youtube. These responses have had some varied in content (though all feature Isaiah Mustafa in a towel in a bathroom) from flirty videos to Alyssa Milano to marriage proposals. It is a fantastic idea which has got a lot of people clamouring for a video (myself included) though they seemed to have stopped at 140 videos on Youtube which may answer the question of how they will keep it going in the long term. (Co-incidence or something more powerful?)

The ads recently won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix and Isaiah Mustafa has been nomintated for an Emmy for his performance proving it is award winning work. But whilst it’s winning awards for traditional media do you think it’s an award winning social media campaign? Can we hold this up and say this is what it means to get social media right?

*follow up*

Last Friday as Old Spice brought their campaign to a close Mashable posted this article on the stats behind the videos so far. It’s impressive to see that as far as viral videos go Old Spice is up there with the big guns, outstripping even President Obama’s victory speech. There were also some blogs reporting the last weekend that the sales for Old Spice were actually down since the campaign but were unable to actually cite a source for the numbers. Apparently the sale figures for a month prior to the social media campaign showed a drop in sales of 7%, hence the game of Chinese whispers. We’re obviously going to have to wait a little while longer before we see numbers attached to the efforts of this campaign and its actually ROI. Regardless Old Spice as changed a lot of perceptions about their brand and has now set the bar for social media campaigns for the rest of us to clear in the future.

Second viral prediction of the year

Ok this ad is funny which is one of the reasons I love it, but I also love the fact that it was shot entirely in one take, the only digital fakery is the bottle coming out of his hand at the end. I’ve also giggled wondering just how many people actually look away and back when instructed to.

It’s a long way from the Old Spice ads of yore. 5 million views and counting, what do you guys think of it?


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