Tag Archives: activation - Page 2

I’m on a horse…

Old Spice’s Man Your Man Could Smell Like won big at Cannes and must surely go down as one of the best ads ever made.  Russel Howcroft was right when, on a recent Gruen Transfer episode he said that it was an entirely new idea and that’s why it was so good.

Here’s that winning ad, along with another in the series in case you thought the first was too good to be repeated.

Apart from being an original idea, the reasons these ads are so good is hard to pin down, which in-itself is part of their appeal (the ability to analyse something is harder when it makes you smile as broadly as these do).  The fact that it’s a one-shot ad, the unexpectedness of what happens during that 30-second piece of film, the surprising climax, the writing (which is brilliant) or the perfectly-cast, strategically-intrinsic talent (and his perfect delivery of a sharp, idea-rich script) are all elements that combine together to deliver advertising gold.

That the idea works to engage fans, position the brand and spread awareness like a grass-fire is without question and so whether it works to sell the product will be measured by how much, not if.

One insight is in how Old Spice have continued with a brand campaign that started years ago, maintaining core elements and refreshing it beautifully with the new Man your Man could smell like campaign.  It proves that it’s possible to refresh a brand and in fact make it even stronger without de-stabilising its position by tearing away at its heart.

Take a look at this ad from a few years ago (again, one of a series), which includes – among other things – the now almost certainly recognisable whistle (triggering memory), along with the unexpectedness and surprise of the current campaign.

On the current ads alone, I’m certain that this strategy would’ve been a raging success and besides, how do you follow up on something so good?

Well it seems they have and the other great insight is in how the campaign has been followed up, extended and strengthened so that now, not only are fans who saw the ad still talking about it, they’re now engaging with the brand via an equally well executed digital strategy.

The Man your Man could smell like is, although brilliantly personified by Isaiah Mustafa, a character.  He’s a creation born of the creative idea and while not the brand is the perfect charcterisation of a) the man your man could smell like and b) the man you could be like if using Old Spice.

That hasn’t stopped Old Spice putting The Man on Twitter and Facebook though, linking through to a YouTube channel and having him post video responses to questions he posed by followers.

The responses, predictably, are written and delivered with the same sharpness as the ads. The idea that The Man is waiting in front of a HD digicam, waiting for tweets and wall posts so he can record a response is a temptation too big to ignore for many of the fans. The level of interactivity going on here is unbelievable (as I write, the Twitter account has almost 30,000 followers in a day and a thousand of those were added just now) and each one of these interactions makes the brand more memorable.

Brands often fail on delivering promises.  If The Man’s promise is anything to go by then Old Spice are true because there’s an ever-growing number of video responses stacking up, all personally addressed to the questioner by The Man.

Before this latest tactic I was wondering if it was unreasonable to think that Old Spice might be objectifying men with The Man ads, given the current debate over the objectification of women in advertising.

For the record, I never thought they did (and wouldn’t have cared anyway) though now I am certain that this strategy should go down in the casebook of how to do integrated marketing, truly engage with your fans and get it right.

Go here and start picking up tips @OldSpice.

The secret to success isn’t in what you know

You know your business better than anyone.

You know why you’re in business to start with.

You know your brand, why it’s named what it is, why you chose the visual identity you did and what you want it to stand for.

You know your product or service, it’s value, what it can do and how it fulfils a customer need or want.

You know your customers, the market and what turns them on to your value proposition for satisfaction of their needs or wants.

You know what you want from your business in return for the investment you make now, next week, next month, next year or next decade.

Essentially, as far as what your business needs to succeed, it’s a strong argument that nobody knows more than you, even if you might need a little expertise to help you to realise your goals.

Except maybe for your competitors.

That’s because the secret isn’t in what needs to be done.  What needs to be done is on show and the framework is the same for everybody.  The secret is in how you do what you need to do to make your brand & business remarkable, memorable and a mandatory stop for your searching customers.

So what are you waiting for?  Get busy and get on with telling your story, right now and for as long as it takes to carve out your unique position.

Happy New Year, decade, and all the best for achieving your goals before your competitors do.

Activation, not information, is the key

We’re all bombarded with government ads, community service announcements, new websites and nice, glossy (expensive) brochures that tell us what we should be doing to change our habits for a positive impact on us or our environment.

For the most part, most of us agree, but then what do we do with the information?  What motivates us into action?

I could write lots of theory and puff up my own successes, but this site shows us exactly how it’s done http://thefuntheory.com/

If you’re not smiling after watching this, check your pulse and call a medic.  This site demonstrates exactly how to things get done (not just talked about) and is a fried gold initiative.  Not only does it have longevity built in, the strategy rewards the creator (Volkswagen in Sweden, in this case) by rewarding entrants for true innovative action.  It builds massive brand credibility through active engagement with community, not just through an idea but through real, solid, measurable action.

The idea also has connotations for your marketing communications strategy as well.  Information is important but activation is the key.  Activation will follow experience by a factor of millions (slight exaggeration, but it’d be a lot) over an ad alone.

Make your messages more engaging and outcomes-focused by BEING engaging.  Think it through, be daring and provocative (not controversial) and your cause, brand or business will benefit.