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Monday, January 20, 2014

Old Spice’s Stalker Moms are a Viral Hit Worth Sharing

Old Spice is well known for its witty advertising campaigns, and the company has been able to attach a lot of brand recognition to its body sprays, antiperspirant and body wash through them. Their newest idea from Weiden & Kennedy promotes turning teenage boys into sexy men – only this viewpoint of becoming girl bait is seen through a mom’s eyes. The new commercial for Old Spice “Re-fresh Body Spray” features singing moms stalking their teenage boys in hilarious ways. The moms lament how their precious boys have become attractive men – and it’s all Old Spice’s fault.

Weiden & Kennedy’s rationale for this comes down to target marketing. The market for the Re-fresh Body Sprays is primarily guys ages 12-24 and their moms who make the purchasing decisions. The Portland agency’s goal: to entertain both mom and son, mentioning that bittersweet moment when a mom realizes her son is growing up to be a man. The tagline is “Smellcome to Manhood.”

Another creative, attention-grabbing campaign Old Spice launched was “Smell Like a Man, Man,”, which featured former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa. Also referred to as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, the campaign targeted female viewers and addressed the viewer in confident, rapid-fire monologues promoting the benefits of Old Spice body wash.

As someone who is planning to go into public relations, I’ve studied different methods of advertising and watched many, many commercials – trying to learn about what makes a commercial effective. As such, I sometimes consider myself “above” advertiser’s messages and I think “I know they’re trying to influence me; I see what their goal is!” However, I fell in love with the Old Spice campaigns. I found myself buying my boyfriend “Believe in Your Smellf” deodorant and trying to convince him that he needs one of these “Re-fresh Body Sprays” because he’s a man now and should smell like one.

What makes Old Spice so incredibly effective? Sales have gone up significantly since the launch of these campaigns. “The Mom Song” is a viral hit with over 6.5 million YouTube views since it launched two weeks ago. One reason could be because their target audience is influential in the social media realm: people act as brand ambassadors (knowingly or not) when they share the videos on their own pages. But I think it’s also because of the campaign’s creativity. The singing moms are entertaining, witty, and they make people look twice. A friend told me it was because, “it doesn’t seem like an advertisement.”

Advertising that portrays itself as a funny video worth sharing with your friends. A commercial that takes a shared human experience – a mother watching her son grow up – and makes it humorous. Hmm… maybe the Old Spice moms are onto something.

Solveig Hommema, intern

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