Video of the Week: Old Spice Goes Viral

This week the Parthenon staff viewed and discussed the phenomenal Old Spice campaign created by Wieden+Kennedy. While most had read about and even seen many of the videos, we thought it was worth seeing as a group for several reasons:

1. The traditional ads themselves are brilliant. They instantly transform a brand that many viewed as old and tired into something new, clever and cool. Even before the social media video portion of the campaign, the actor Isaiah Mustafa had undoubtedly changed the brand image.

2. The use of YouTube to “respond” to individual’s questions or comments through more than 150 videos leverages the strength of that platform, providing the viral spark that resulted in millions of impressions. (At this writing, videos uploaded to the Old Spice Channel had received more than 100 million views.) The personalities chosen for custom responses range from mainstream media figures such as George Stephanopoulos and Ellen DeGeneres to social media mavens and a slew of lesser known individuals.

3. The videos were clearly the work of a team with expertise in multiple media — traditional and social. They of were well written, executed and produced. They are consistent with the “traditional” advertising spots, but also demonstrate an understanding of the media subjects and individuals they addressed. Even the individuals selected reflect a deep knowledge of how to make things go viral.

Much has and likely will be written about the campaign in traditional media, from Fast Company, to Advertising Age to U.S. News and World Report. One of the best behind the scenes looks at the creation of the videos is from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb.

This campaign has set a new standard for leveraging the strengths of the variety of media available to marketers today.