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Old Spice Body Wash Campaign: An Example Of Demassification The recent 2010 Old Spice campaign, created by advertising

agency Wieden + Kennedy, has been called unprecedented by Matt Fiorentino, the senior marketing analyst for Visible Measures, an independent company that tracks viral videos. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like advertisement, in which featured bare-chested former NFL wide receiver, Isaiah Mustafa, defining the characteristics we desire in men, defied beyond greatness and created brilliancy. Old Spice, Wieden + Kennedy, and a team of digital experts then took the very simple idea of interactivity, and innovatively created Old Spices award winning campaign. Within this essay I will argue that this campaign was successful in getting people to view the ads by quintessentially exemplifying notions of demassification (the shift from a large, mass consumer to a smaller, individualistic consumer) (Leiss and Botterill 268). An examination of the campaigns utility of content and humour; social media tactics via television, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube; appealing to consumer intelligence through the use of personalization, real time, and sincerity all in a matter of days reveals the campaigns increasing effectiveness to generate views. Each characteristic creatively provided us with laughter in order to keep us sustained and engaged. Humour & Content: In a postmodern culture, we thrive off of the excitement and emotion of creativity, humour, and content. Humour secures attention, engagement, liking, and a positive affect towards the brand. Audiences willingly will sit through a sales message for a laugh. (Leiss and Botterill 434). If an advertisement is funny, the typical reaction is laughter which further relates to signs of happiness. Thus, if one is happy they are more inclined to find likeness and enjoyment towards the advertisement. Mark Federman, a researcher at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, speaks on the Old Spice campaign revealing how its success is due to the strict focus of the audiences interest to laugh and remain attended. He says, We collectively in our society like good storytelling... we like unusual humour and we like humour juxtaposed with surreality. (Baute par. 18). Much truth sustains within Federmans statement especially in relation to todays generation. We enjoy unusual

humour because it is able to stimulate our attention through means of curiosity and content. Therefore, semiotics, the study of decoding messages through a sign system (signifier: the object/thing, flower; and the signified: abstract meaning of the thing, love) is more difficult to decode (Leiss and Botterill 164). The Old Spice campaign mixes humour, curiosity, and content quite nicely. Procter & Gamble Co. Global Brand-Building Officer, Marc Pritchard, details Old Spices main goal, explaining that guys want to be manly (Pritchard 00:47). He describes how men have a desire to be manly but often feel as if they are not manly enough (Pritchard 00:57). Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, hes not me. Pritchard discusses Isaiah Mustafas vain, deadpan, and notions of unrealistic physicality as a challenge and competition to ones manhood. Through humour this campaign suggests that if you use Old Spice body wash, you may not possess stunningly strong, chiselled features but at the very least you can smell manly. People respond to humour more than anything... [The] younger target, especially a young, male target, if you dont entertain them in some way, they will not take your commercial seriously. (Leiss and Botterill 435). While perfectly integrating humour with a driven message, this campaign was able to captivate the attention of not only the hardest target market, young males, but also the interest of the rest of a rather culturally derived generation. This was clearly evident as the advertisement reached 1.4billion impressions on the campaign along with 40million video views in one week (Pritchard 2:58). Furthermore, a remarkable impression was made in aid of the utilization of various forms of social media. Twitter & Social Media: In an interview by Mark Borden, for an ongoing series related to The Influence Project, with Old Spice creative director, Ian Tait, Borden asked Tait why they chose to respond to Twitter tweets using video and why they employed Youtube versus a dedicated Old Spice site. Tait responded: YouTube is the place where people share video. Twitter is the place where--celebrities dying or whatever it is--those things blow up so quickly. We know we can only run this thing for a short time so Twitter felt like the place to create the explosion. People are very familiar with the ways of sharing it, liking it, and favouring it, and just the fact that it can go everywhere very quickly was a huge positive (Borden par. 5)

Tait stresses the importance of social media in such a strict modern culture that is so central on new and advanced digital technologies. Nowadays, the world is at our fingertips, literally, through computers, iPods, Smartphones, etc. Old Spices brilliant idea to answer users questions through social media opened up the possibility [and further success] for large numbers of viewers because it allowed for audience participation. The blend of social media and audience participation also allowed for a sense of belongingness. We subconsciously find a strong desire and need to belong within the culture capital. This campaign used social media not only to broadcast a message but to also connect people within a culture. Similar to the advertisement frameworks of the Generation X phenomenon which was the shift to newer markets, marketers, trend forecasters, and youth targets in the late 1980s, todays generation follows a similar structure (Leiss and Botterill 464). Old Spice, Weiden + Kennedy, and the various digital experts used social media as an interpretive key in order to reveal the multi-complexities and the importance of symbolic communication in contemporary life (Leiss and Botterill 481). The largely popular channels of communication such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook provided audiences with easy access to the advertisements. The integration of such channels grasped the attention of 16.3million views within two days (Gotthilf par.11). Everyone became intrigued to the idea of answering users questions by posting video responses because it was enjoyable, modern, and innovated. Tait also mentioned that the use of video responses had never been done before and it was something that the agency thought was refreshing and attentionseeking (Borden par. 4). Attention-grabbing was exactly what this campaign provided to its audience, and the importance of symbolic communication and belongingness widely spread as the videos generated an explosive viewing chart. The campaign generated 1.8billion PR impressions including features on national broadcasts, 2700 percent increase in Twitter followers, 800 percent increase with Facebook interaction, 300 percent increase on the Old Spice website traffic, and 140million views on Youtube (Pritchard 2:55). With new technologies and the advances in being able to share videos paired with audience participation, the spread successfully generated hit after hit and view after view. The Foucaudian take on advertising focuses on the negotiation of power between advertisers and target consumers (Leiss and

Botterill 283). The idea of social media and audience participation also allowed for the agency to play and appeal to consumer intelligence. Consumer Intelligence: The use of personal videos became so viral because it created the perfect example of demassification. The 5th stage of advertising and modern times deals with advertisers seeking to speak to smaller, more individualistic consumers (Leiss and Botterill 22). This campaign found the perfect opportunity to target audiences individualistically as a unique individual viewer. The agency played on various elements and characteristics of consumer intelligence. The idea of personalized videos allowed for personalization and a fostering of sincerity. Importantly, the videos were all done in real time allowing for people to identify with someone who is real and not fictional. After closely observing Twitter, the Old Spice team took quick action to film a personal video response to Twitter followers. Tait explains demassification as he explains that the Old Spice team chose to respond to a variety of different tweets that which pertained to specific consumers. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like advertisement was significant to both men and women and the campaign continued to evolve to great success pertaining to individual consumers as the videos climaxed to millions of views each day. People want things tailored to their specific needs. This is a clear example of a mix between instrumental consumption and emotion/spiritual consumption as two of the six forms of consumption ethos. Instrumental consumption deals with seeking gratification for things that we need and emotional/spiritual consumption focuses on seeking pleasure through emotional stimulation. Personal videos provide audiences with what they need as well as emotional stimulation from the sense of personalization and sincerity. For example, Mustafa, the Old Spice guy, responded to Kevin Roses (DIGGs CEO) tweet about being sick with get well wishes through video response in which holds over a million views to this day. Utilizing videos in real time fostered a sense of realness due to the quick paced production and immediate access to audiences (Gotthilf par. 6). Responses and participation from celebrities drastically increased views, since the rise of Gen X, as we have been inclined to engage our interests in the consumption of pop culture (Leiss

and Botterill 484). One of the most popular videos is the Old Spice guys response to celebrity, Alyssa Milano. Milano tweeted her appreciation of the campaign to which Mustafa responded with four videos, each reaching 1.5 million views. Mustafa also responded to Ellen DeGeneres, Paris Hilton, and Demi Moore that of which all videos reached at least a million views. Old Spice let people connect with one another allowing a sense of interaction between Mustafa, celebrities, as well as millions of other viewers. Evidently, the Old Spice campaign was successful in getting people to view the advertisements. Today, thousands of parodies which hold a large amount of views are floating around the internet. Not only was it a huge success at the time, Old Spices campaign was effective enough for viewing to continue after campaigning. Demassification and targeting consumers at an individualistic approach managed to increase the number of views significantly. Furthermore, utilizing humour and content, social media, and consumer intelligence, Weiden + Kennedy and the Old Spice team produced a very successful campaign. Matthew Wohl, a recent refugee from Proctor & Gamble mens care viral video hit machine, says: I dont think weve cracked the code, because the code keeps changing. I think it is just important to stay on top of it...listen to whats going on, listen to the consumer and act and react. (Neff par.11). As I leave you with this quote, I stress the importance of demassification in relation to a brilliant campaign.

Work Cited
Baute, Nicole. "How Old Spice Campaign Changed Social Media." 17 July 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <>. Borden, Mark. "The Team Who Made Old Spice Smell Good Again Reveals What's Behind Mustafa's Towel | Fast Company." - Where Ideas and People Meet | Fast Company. 14 July 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <>. Gotthilf, Gina. "Old Spice: A Swan Dive Into The Award Winning Campaign." Review. Weblog post. BlueGlass - Internet Marketing Company Specializing in a Variety of Online Marketing

Services. 22 July 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <>. Leiss, William, and Jackie Botterill. Social Communication in Advertising: Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print. Neff, Jack. "Cracking Viral Code: Look at Your Ads. Now Look at Old Spice | Digital - Advertising Age." Ad & Marketing Industry News - Advertising Age. 27 Sept. 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <>. Pritchard, Marc. "Pritchard Deconstructs Old Spice Campaign Success | Special: ANA 2010 - Advertising Age." Ad & Marketing Industry News - Advertising Age. 15 Oct. 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. <>.