‘New’ Old Spice: an Oxymoron & a Fantastic Campaign…

Brut; socks; photo frames; awful jumpers – add an Old Spice gift set to this time-tested collective, and you complete the catalogue of gifts that have long been the staple preserve of unimaginative aunties and uncles worldwide.

And you know what?  I know I’m not the only one who receives these exact same goods year in and year out.  True; I’m guaranteed to smell good for a few months, but in terms of brand perception, these safe staples of seasonal giving have about as much credibility as Nick Clegg since he became David Cameron’s office intern.

So what is a brand to do?  Well, if you’re Old Spice, the logical modus operandi would be to call up top marketing agency Wieden & Kennedy and ask them to revamp, re-brand and resuscitate the Old Spice brand with a balls-out, bold and brilliant marketing campaign – and that’s exactly what they did.

Those of you that work in the industry will no doubt have been following the events in Cannes last week, in which Wieden & Kennedy Portland won the Cannes Film Lions Grand Prix for its ‘The man your man could smell like’ Old Spice advert:

As a marketing and advertising professional, it’s always fascinating to see new life breathed into an established brand, especially with a TV spot as original as this one.  However, the growing success of this campaign, and subsequently of Old Spice’s brand perception, has been the truly integrated nature of the marketing activity.  Hot on the heels of the Cannes win, Old Spice has pushed out an ATL press campaign with the same personality as in the TV advert:

This looks set to be a long-running and indeed, extremely successful campaign for the Old Spice brand and its manufacturers, Proctor and Gamble. So many people outside of the Marketing industry remain sceptical about the power of branding, but this latest example is surely testament to the power of marketing.

Wieden & Kennedy should be applauded for tackling a difficult brief and coming out smelling of roses – or at the very least, like the man your man could smell like.


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