I was amongst the throes of people who were captivated by Old Spice & Wieden+Kennedy’s intense ad campaign that exploded all over the web the last few days. These types of things “should” be happening all the time, but it seems like most big brand ad agencies still haven’t grasped why this campaign worked so well, and garnered so much attention.

Why did the Old Spice campaign resonate with fans?

  • They took time to develop the character (curated over 6+ months)
  • They handed over the reigns to the audience
  • They gave ownership of the character and the brands to the fans (maybe accepted reality of ownership)
  • They went everywhere their fans were (Digg, reddit, twitter, facebook, youtube, even 4chan!)
  • They didn’t cheap out. $$$
  • They took risks.

What made me wonder though, why haven’t other brands made their spokesperson “characters” interactive before? Where is the “King” from Burger King? Why haven’t the folks at Crispin Porter done anything to build up this character recently? There were some great foundations laid a few years back with the “wake up with the king” campaign, then nothing.

Dos Equis was another character which could have benefited from a campaign like this. Imagine making the most interesting man in the world into the worlds most interesting advice columnist? The content that could come out of that would be hilarious.

I have no doubt in my mind that Old Spice will clean up at whatever sycophantic awards ceremonies the ad-industry organizes. I just would love to see big ad agencies curating their social media efforts and not making them disposable one off projects.