The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Why Old Spice Is The Best Bit Of Planning This Year [So Far] …
July 23, 2010, 6:04 am
Filed under: Comment

So I – like many of you out there – love the Old Spice work.

I don’t say this because the people behind it pay my monthly salary, but because it is a wonderful idea that can go and grow into a multitude of areas and – most importantly – comes from a product truth [even if on first impressions, it could have appeared a negative] and an insight that without doubt, laid the foundations for this campaign to happen.

In other words, a planner played a major part in the development of this campaign – a campaign, let us not forget, that is for a brand owned by P&G – which I think is bloody fantastic given the ridiculous levels of parity in so much of the advertising these days.

Sure, the work takes this insight and idea to another stratosphere, but interms of laying the foundations for this to happen – and move Old Spice to New Spice, so to speak – a planner played a major role.

As much as some people think its wrong, I am a big fan of seeing the strat in the work …

For me, if you can’t tell what the communication is trying to make you do/say/feel, then you have to question [1] the purpose behind the work and [2] what was the point having a planner on the biz in the first place.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying an ad should be a verbatum expression of the planners brief and proposition … however like with Old Spice, it should contain a message that you know has motivating relevance to both the audience and the client.

The thing I particulary like about the campaign is that it’s basically built on the same principals that allowed/allows W+K to do such great work for NIKE.

The whole ethos of the agency is to find the tension point between category and audience and then create an idea that will exploit that in favour of their clients brand.

To be honest, it’s not a unique philosophy [cynic had something we called ‘anger is an energy’] however they are better at identifying the ‘tension point’ than most.

With NIKE, they realised the conflict was all about people liking the idea of being active versus actually getting off their arses and getting involved, so they created an idea and brand voice that encouraged these very folk to get off the sofa and JUST DO IT. Sure the meaning of the message has evolved over time, but at its heart it still conveys the same tough-love statement that made it stand out all those years ago … the sort of tough love statement you’d be more likely to hear from your parents &/or teachers than a brand.

And here’s the thing, I believe the Old Spice campaign taps into the same thing.

I remember when I was a kid, my Dad caught me in his bedroom trying to style my hair [yes, I had some] with gel and god knows what else.

After watching me in silence for a while, he said …

“Stop poncing yourself up and get out”

… which isn’t that far removed from saying …

“You’re a man so why are you covering yourself in smells more suited to a girl?”

The thing is, like the wonderful guys at BBH did with AXE, W+K found an insight that was in front of everyone’s eyes for years [plus truly linked to the brand] … and that is the sign of a good planner, being able to see the obvious, even if it appears not to be that obvious … so while there’s a few other brands that have adopted a similar stance [Canada Dry’s fucking awesome “Your Dad” campaign comes to mind] the accolades for this campaign should go beyond just its executional brilliance, but also celebrate its creatively inspirational planning heart.

Advertisements

93 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you know what campbell, ill give you this.

its about fucking planning and overfuckinglong but its a fair point. could have done without hearing about your mirror antics as a kid, especially after seeing those uber gay photos, but what you say is a fair one, especially the p&g bit which w+k should be leveraging their sweet little asses off.

people might bitch that they could have come up with “smell like a man” or its fucking category convention but they didnt and its not. well not totally. and like you say like a smug bitch, they took a negative and made it positive even though i prefer the fucking awesome canada dry work you talk about.

naturally the creative makes it all stand out like dogs balls and the twitter thing was fun to watch but if you gave me a prop like that id of liked it but you didnt which explains why ive spent the day supervising some building retards who smell like a pig and show their asses more than fucking kylie despite each cheek being the size of the diminutive pop star.

have i just complimented a planner post? tell me ive not just complimented a planner post.

Comment by andy@cynic

OH MY GOD, a compliment about a planner post I’ve written. Go straight to bed and take 2 panadol immediately.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know if its literally the best planning of the year (so far) but you make a good case why the execution shouldn’t be the only part of the campaign that gets high fives. That was an awesome read Rob and brought up some food for thought that no one else has touched on despite thousands of posts on this (overhyped?) brilliant campaign. Dan and Dave will be proud of you. Not so sure about P&G.

Comment by Pete

Fair point about it maybe not being the best planning example of the year, but then you could say that about anything. Please stop taking advice on being pedantic from Mr Dodds, ha!

Comment by Rob

And yes Andy, you did. 🙂

Comment by Pete

stop being so fucking smug about it, cant you see im fucking ill.

Comment by andy@cynic

ive read my comment a few times. i think i did compliment a planning post. worse, a planning post by rob fucking campbell. i feel dirty and only an acid bath is going to get rid of the grimy shame i feel.

Comment by andy@cynic

So the panadol worked?

Comment by Rob

Not seen the ad so can’t understand why anyone would like to smell like a horse.

Comment by DH

camilla parker bowles does.

or do horses want to smell of her? can never fucking remember.

Comment by andy@cynic

I didn’t think it would ever be possible to say this and mean it, but “what Andy said” and I mean every comment because that CPB one (that’s Camilla, not Crispin Porter Bogusky) is hilarious.

Comment by Bazza

Every comment of Andy’s up till 6:37am (Rob blog time) because I’m sure he’ll write some more that I’d prefer not to be associated with.

Comment by Bazza

I’m prepared to be amazed but I would be amazed if anyone buying the stuff was doing it for those reasons. The first ad was staggeringly well written – I don’t think it could have been done better – but I dont think it was saying that.

But what do I know?

Comment by John

you know fuck all then dodds because it was saying that so fucking much youd have to be a retarded stevie fucking wonder not to know it.

hello retarded stevie fucking wonder.

Comment by andy@cynic

Can’t believe this, twice in a week, but ‘what Andy said’. Even if it doesn’gt tell you straight and manages to throw on masses or irony and laughs at its own heritage (which is important as the basic promise) it’s loud and clear that this brand lets you smell like man, and carries on the subliminal stuff about the benefits of experience.
So there Dodds

Comment by northern

but you might be right about them not buying it for those reasons but then do bmw drivers buy it for the engineering or to impress the office receptionist whod go with anyone who looks like they might be able to buy her some flowers and a bacardi breezer.

Comment by andy@cynic

you are the sunshine of my life.

Comment by John

i can see what you did there. sad bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

if youd said/sung “i just had to say i worship you” i might of been less fucking critical. you know for next time.

Comment by andy@cynic

No he’s not right, no one buys anything because because they agree with the proposition, just like no one likes a film because they love the basic log line, but they do buy stuff because of how it makes them feel- this stuff makes being a real man and smelling like one cool

Comment by northern

No-one? Really? I’d have to dispute that.

As for films, of course people fdont like the movie because of the strap line – but some certainly buy the ticket because of it – that’s why they’ve become more concise in recent years.

Comment by John

sad unscented bastard

Comment by John

Really John? You didn’t think the ‘smell like a man’ aspect of the campaign came through or have I misunderstood your point.

I agree that people may not be buying the product literally for that purpose [or at least not admitting it publically anyway] but I am confused that you seem confused regarding the heart of the campaign idea and how it links in with [1] Old Spice and [2] category differentiation … or have I got it all totally wrong?

Probably.

Comment by Rob

Im an idiot. I just watched on a horse again and those lines registered with me for the first time. Even though that was the only execution I’d seen, I’m staggered that it didn’t register previously.

I can only think it was lost for me between the first few lines that just blew me away and the visuals that followed or because I came to it via the blogosphere saying what a great ad rather than seeing it on TV. Or, before Andy says it, maybe I dont want to smell like a man.

I’m an idiot.

Comment by John

I saw it as a campaign aimed at women who didnt want their men to be macho fools and reek of traditional old spice, but rather to smell of the variety of “flavours” in the bodywash range. Hence I didn’t see the insight you were writing about in this post.

Comment by John

Spot the single man. Ha.

The heart of the campaign is based on the premise/fact that …

1/ Many bodywashes in the male grooming category use ingredients that emit a scent that is more synonomous with feminine/metrosexual traits than ‘alpha’ male.
2/ Many men use whatever bodywash they find in the bathroom, which more often than not [due to a number of reasons] is a female orientated brand.

Old Spice – due to its heritage and scent [though that has obviously evolved over time] is associated with a time where men where errrrrm, men [at least in the spirit of the men that are featured in the Canada Dry campaign] and as such, allows you to get spick and span in the hygiene stakes, without ending up zesty, flowery, perfumey or whatever other sweetesque scent that is in so many female/gender ambigious personal care products.

Smell like a man means you’re clean, but your masculinity isn’t washed away either. [Though that is a very plannery – and much too serious] expression.

Comment by Rob

wise fucking move my nano human friend. wise fucking move.

this is just for you.

camilla parker horseface takes dumps that are so fucking eye wateringly potent that 40,000 old spice sticks couldnt cover up the stink.

fuck thats a campaign just by itself.

“which man spray is strong enough to hide the stink of camillas shit?”

its like a modern take on the old pepsi challenge just using shit. but its royal shit so its aspirational. might as well hand me that gold lion now and be fucking done with it.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ll take that comment too. So that’s every Andy comment till 6.47am. (Rob blog time)

Comment by Bazza

parafuckingsite.

Comment by andy@cynic

That is sickening genius. I’ll be sending it on to Portland immediately.

[Though I might not use my real name]

Comment by Rob

axe and old spice should get together and make a special edition, uberfuckingtestosterone, alpha male spray. i can see the campaign:

“with oldaxe youll be beating off babes who want to fuck you and blokes who want to cheer you with a shitty stick”.

definitely need to be a ball type application.

Comment by andy@cynic

though the truth in advertising version to target any sad fuck who really thinks axe gets you babes and old spice really makes you a man would be:

“with oldaxe youll be beating off. alone”.

Comment by andy@cynic

hows that for fucking planning.

sign me up dan before someone else does. especially with my pre awarded lion for the camillas shit vs old spice challenge idea.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think you mean an iPhone app.

Comment by John

Haven’t any of you lot got lives? That’s a lot of comments for so early/late in your days. Of course I haven’t read any yet so maybe it’s the sort of twaddle you could write in your sleep, but still, quite impressive for this time of the day.

Comment by Rob

Aside from the facts that (a) this campaign is awesome and (b) W+K are awesome, facts I agree with, parts of this post confuse me. To aid in my clarity Rob, would you mind spelling out what you think the insight is?

Comment by Angus

Hello Angus … how the hell are you. And if you look up, you’ll see some more confusing bollocks, ha!

Comment by Rob

Right.

Agree with the don’t let your masculinity be “washed away” part.

Comment by Angus

Would love to see the next step. co brand with the most interesting man in the world, from dos equise beer (or how ever u write that name). after all once u smell good well u’d like some sex, or a cold beer while watching the spice channel and feeling all fonzie, obvious insight of course. Titanium award? Thank you very much.

Comment by Niko

dont know about a titanium award but a spot in the sex pest clinic is a fucking definite.

Comment by andy@cynic

oostens a dad?

fuck me.

from single sad bastard to married man and dad in 9 months.

its all down to old spice. must be.

because campbell is shit at filling in the blanks i havent got the faintest fucking idea what youve had but congratulations mr stupid surname all the same.

Comment by andy@cynic

Before: single sad bastard
After: married man and dad

Not sure if that’s a good ad for old spice, might stick with axe now.

PS/ good one Tone and wife.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That attitude might work for George Clooney but I’m sorry to break this to you Billy, but you’re only going to end up disappointed.

Comment by Rob

And alone.

Comment by Rob

Crying.

Comment by Rob

Until death seems like a friend you hope will pay you a visit.

Comment by Rob

Hope that helped.

Comment by Rob

i’m clearly not the target market ‘cos i have done nothing but roll my eyes about the whole thing from the get go. i’m bored of it all and feel like it’s all about the execution and social media flexing.

as you were.

Comment by lauren

According to Doddsy, you are. Ha.

Comment by Rob

yeah, but even with doddsy’s idea, i’m not really the target market, am i.

Comment by lauren

You would be if Andy/Billy had their way, Hahaha!

Comment by Rob

don’t threaten me like that, rob.

😉

Comment by lauren

I hear George Michael smells like a man. And public toilets.

Comment by Billy Whizz

First of all, I like the post a lot. First attempt to look beyond the obvious as somebody already said.

I never spent too much time thinking about bodywashes but it never occured to me that men really use “smells more suited to a girl” that often … I guess that’s another strenght of it. It doesn’t have to be true and still works as an insinuation. Still, brilliant to frame it that way.

That’s where my question comes in. Does anybody here think they could’ve done this before doing all the stuff where they ridiculed the traditional image of manliness? The one talking about experience (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af1OxkFOK18) or the golf one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4D6OItQXWs) or even the absolutely ridiculous body wash videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tI4CbCniBI)? For me, what’s as strong as the particular category insight is the overarching observation that the boys’ vision of sex is already taken by Axe, so they can be the one with experience who don’t have to take this so fucking serious. Does that make any sense at all?

Other than that, I was wondering how long P&G gave W+K for the planning of this, ’cause I’ve obviously never been anywhere near a campaign like that.

Comment by Thomas Wagner

Hi Thomas – great comment.

I’m not sure how long we [royal ‘we’] had to plan on this – I will ask Britton who is Mr Smug Bastard at the moment as he is the guy at W+K who ‘planned’ the campaign [though I wish he was called something more beefy, like Chuck Norris III or something] … however, and I’m sure Britton won’t mind me saying this, the Old Spice work in the accumilation of a fairly long and established relationship as opposed to an overnight sensation and the reason I mention it is that often agencies forget they need to build trust and educate before they can do their top work – and whilst the temptation is to launch right in with the more extreme campaigns, the reality is more often than not, if you try that you’ll end up with a campaign that will stay in your bottom draw than hit the World.

As for your point about whether this campaign has happened because of all the ridicule of men as of late? Well I think it would have worked anyway, however it’s perfect tone and social infiltration has certainly been amplified and perfected thanks to the anti/one dimensional ‘man’ approaches of the last few years.

Comment by Rob

funniest.comments.thread.ever.

Comment by Age

+ Once in my life want to see a campaign done by Niko and Andy.

Comment by Thomas Wagner

There wouldn’t be enough people in the world to offend and awards to award.

Comment by Age

well, here it is. The W+K post.

Comment by Marcus

Well spotted, he hasn’t time to do the school of the web, but he’s plenty to be Mr Corporate.

Comment by northern

I’ve nearly finished it, but I have had to make sure Mr Wieden’s car is clean every morning and his favourite peanut butter and jelly sandwich os on his bedside table, next to his stripy PJ’s.

He goes away next week so it’ll be up then … and if it’s not, I will do an iPod Singing revisit TO THE SMITHS!

That guarantees it’s done doesn’t it.

Comment by Rob

Make sure it’s Last Night I dreamed Somebody Loved Me

Comment by northern

Good call, Northern. Good call.

Comment by Marcus

I don’t even know that one. And I hope I still don’t by the end of next week.

Comment by Rob

Sales up 107% in the last month apparently.

Great planning + great creative = great, effective work.

Were this any other campaign I’d say you were being smug about your new role… this however is a work of genius so I’ll let you off.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m an equal opportunity observer/commentator on work Mr M, which is why I’ll question/challenge my own work as much as someone elses.

I just think this is a really good campaign, but if there were things I questioned/wondered about, I’d say it as I did with the NIKE World Cup work even though strategically and executionally it was still very strong and done for the right commercial reasons.

[Commercial reasons for NIKE I should point out you cynical bastards, ha!]

Saying that, it’s a good job I work for W+K because our standards are higher than others standards, which secures them from an opinionated sod view as well as secures me in my job.

At least for a few weeks. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Think you mean the Canadian Club “Your Dad” campaign. Not Canada Dry.

Comment by Mathew

Yes. What a tit I am – especially as I linked to the bloody ad.

Comment by Rob

So what was the strategy behind the ad ? you say great planning, bet where/how do you notice it ? i can’t even figure out what was the target of this ad. help. please, help.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

You can’t figure out who the target of the ad is?

Are you a brand manager?

Comment by Rob

It’s an ad’ for dirty smelly men; men that smell of women; women that are smelly and don’t want their men to smell like them. So if they buy oldspice they smell like Oldpsice and not like their smelly wifes.

Comment by Marcus

i’m wannabe, i’m 23, i love your blog, please be polite with me

i have a conjecture who is the target, but i also have an opportunity to ask you and other gods a question about it, so i’m just doing it.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

Hi TOTOinTrouble … OK, I was a bit of a shit there, sorry.

I tell you what, you never call anyone on this blog a GOD [even Andy or Dodds, regardless what they may say] and I’ll make sure we answer properly.

Hopefully the additional comments on this post have answered – or helped answer – your question/s but if they haven’t, just shout.

PS: Nice summation Marcus. And not even a chart, ha.

Comment by Rob

ok, deal.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

We could work for the UN with our peace-making prowess.

Hear from you soon TOTOinTrouble.

Comment by Rob

doesnt it target women? because they are the shower gel buyers in the household? and because they would have to live with the brand/smell that would, without mustafa’s efforts, remind them of old men or their fathers?

and by talking to women in the initial spot and the swan dive one, (single) men, too, get an idea what women want, allegedly. everyone can have a laugh.

the spots played nicely on the stereotypes, confusion and pressure men are under nowadays (not saying women arent). and the sometimes false promises that ads give. all old spice says is that mustafa uses old spice. and your man could too. so he would at least smell like isaiah, the perfect man. image transferred. and old spice is new spice.

agree with age, funniest comments ever.

Comment by peggy

It targets men as well as the ‘other halves’ of men – but it’s united by the idea and the insight, and that’s part of it’s genius.

It’s possibly the first unisex, alpha male campaign in history. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Just went to my local shop to buy some old spice.
Got given a packet of out of date paprika.
I smell like a bad takeaway curry.
Not happy.
The end.

Comment by DH

Just read through all the comments (I’m bored) and Andy wins the best of the day with http://bit.ly/dpOAIh

Could win ambient media campaign of the millenium.

Comment by DH

I have never purchased shower gel.

Comment by Marcus

Smelly.

Comment by Rob

and i wear men’s cologne.

Comment by lauren

And I use womens shampoo

Comment by northern

You’ve stopped working for TBWA NG, you don’t have to do any lame-ass disruption anymore.

Comment by Rob

You do realise this might explain why you’re single Lauren. Unless you’re not now and I look an even bigger wanker than usual.

Comment by Rob

i’m single ‘cos i’m a fucking bitch and i swear too much. 🙂

Comment by lauren

You like to pretend you’re a bitch but we all know the truth. As for your swearing? Yeah … that is a major problem, ha! Rx

Comment by Rob

Rob,

First, let me say that this post is brilliant in every way. I couldn’t agree more with your thesis.

For Thomas, the Old Spice renaissance has been 5 years in the making. The brand built its equity with some very earnest, functional messaging in the 90’s. Somehow, we have managed to keep the brand’s authenticity in tact but we have completely revamped the brand’s personality with the not-so-serious manly approach. So could we have jumped straight to the latest work? I guess so. But would it have been as successful? Nope.

Comment by Smug Britton

Typical planner, using two words whe one is enough, smug…. 😉

Comment by Niko

To be fair, he answered well – if I’d been in his position, I’d of not been Smug Rob … I’d of been Talk To My PR Agent Rob.

But then I’m a wanker and he’s just a showoff.

Comment by Rob

Look Campbell, when à Britt writes that hè is brittish, but does it in french (britton) that is smug 🙂 so no need to put smug infront of it, is all i am saying. regardless of how great THE work is.

no offence Brit planner at w k who did the work. i dislike most nations, so it’s not personal, ha!

Comment by Niko

Excellent point Niko. You should work at M&C given your excellent demonstration of brutal simplicity.

Comment by Robertotini III

And there he is, the man that can command a huge payrise by simply pointing to the Old Spice campaign and say:

“See that? That’s my work that is.”

Showoff.

Comment by Rob




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: