Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Old Spice, New Marketing Strategy

While Old Spice is still trying to make itself look like the cool, "in" brand to appeal to a younger demographic, it's recently launched a new campaign that embraces that old, stuffy, "that's the type of stuff that my dad used in the dark ages" feeling that we all know. How are they doing it?

The Old Spice Experience

Old Spice has created a few sites to take note of. The first site is a microsite called Experience Old Spice (a nice play on words). What do you see when you first get there? An older, stuffy, Mr. Powell like "gentleman" that could pose as one of your dad's divorced buddies who wants to teach you the ways of the force. The message is one that uses humour to make the visitor (which is target ting males in their 20's I assume) take heed of the older generation for their wisdom and experience. Old Spice is basically saying "Yeah, we've been around for a long time but we must be doing something right and we can teach you a thing or two about being a man". Whether or not this works is another thing but the site works as its entertaining, interactive and may hit those males who have a poor self-esteem problems.

Old Spice continues this "experience" theme with a blog written by a number of so called experts. They have experts like NASCAR driver Tony Stewart who provides traffic tips like "The Left Lane is For Passing". Thanks Professor Stewart. Is your next post going to be "Green Means Go?". I'm just poking fun at you Tony - I actually liked your post (did you really write it?).

Old Spice: Blogs at Their Best

Here's what I liked about this blog:
  1. It's a real blog because I could leave a comment which made me happy. This follows the interactive philosophy of blogs which allows people to post information and others to respond. It's not like a normal site that just displays information. If Professor Stewart answers my comment, I'll donate some $50 to a charity of his choice (let's see if blogs really work!!). What I found really interesting is that my post was published right away without being reviewed! Old Spice is taking some blogging risks! I like it!
  2. Whether Tony wrote this post or not, I liked his attitude. It reflected my own except I try and be a bit more profound. I loved his description of the left hand land "You don’t ride in it. You don’t coast in it. You don’t set up shop and sell trinkets out of the trunk of your car."
  3. There was no overt selling of Old Spice. Tony didn't try and tell me that Old Spice has helped his car win NASCAR races. Old Spice is trying to brand itself as being the product that knows how to make a man a man (whatever) that means and Old Spice products are pat of that mix but there is no overt call to action.
  4. Email addresses are required when you leave a comment. Guess who is building their house list and look at how easy it is!
  5. It's simple. There are articles. There are writers. There are pictures. Any company can make a blog like this. Yes, they have some experts that they've hired but how difficult was it really for these guys? Hey Nike - I would love to see Tiger Woods provide a monthly golf tip or post an experience from a hole that gave him a bit of trouble and what he did to persevere.

Make the Experience Real

Above all, the most important part of this blog is that it's real and believable. The content is factual, it's informative and it keeps changing. This will entice me to keep tuning in and see what "experience" I can gather from these experts and each time that enormous, red "Old Spice" logo at the top of the page will take over my screen and remind me which brand is delivering this value. Any marketer who is considering a blog should take a look at this one - whether you are B2B or B2C. Think about what you are trying to convey with your brand and use a blog to build on that.

Chad H.

PS - I also liked that Old Spice was not trying to change the perceived worldview (a Seth Godin reference) that people have of it's products. Yes, "old spice" does conjure up images of a retirement home and formaldehyde (at least it does for me) but hey, if it's been around this long, it has to be doing something good, right? Well, at least they have a good grasp on how people perceive them.
PPS - Do you have any other blogs that stick out that other companies have done that you really liked?

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