Hi readers! Have you seen this commercial?
…now back to me! I love it!
This commercial created by W&K was launched in 2010, and despite some initial scepticism, it has proven to be one of the brand’s most successful campaigns of all time. As described in Adweek , it boosted the brand’s sales in 107%, was viewed 40 million times in one week and increased the brand’s social media performance on Twitter (2700% community growth), Facebook (800% followers interaction), and YouTube (Most viewed brand channel back then… now it’s LEGO).
But what determined its success?
There are many theoretical frameworks that explain why an idea spreads. I particularly like Jonah Berger’s 6 STEPPS for contagious content creation, and here’s how it can be applied to advertising:
Social Currency: ‘People care about how they look to others’ J Berger
When this commercial was launched, it gained a lot of attention in a short period of time. People were watching it, sharing it, commenting about it. Create advertisements that become a trend and that your audience feels cool if they know about it. More importantly, make your audience want to talk about it.
Triggers: ‘Top-of-mind means tip-of-tongue’ J Berger
Adding content that is easy to remember will place you in the top-of-mind of your audience. Try a message that your audience would like to repeat. A sticky script like this one? Or perhaps a song: think about that TV ad with the unforgettable jingle…
(*Colombians sing: ‘La Fina… la margarina..’)
Emotion: ‘When we care, we share’ J Berger.
…when we share, it becomes contagious. Aim for your audience’s emotional connection with your advertisement, and it will get shared. Old Spice, for instance, merged sex-appeal with humour, both very strong emotions. Berger recommends to place emotions before function.
Public: ‘Built to show, built to grow’ J Berger
Create ads that people will want to imitate. Berger also describes public as having a ‘visible residual behaviour’. After The man your man could smell like, talented actor Isaiah Mustafa was featured in talk shows and interviews explaining the production of the commercial. Other actions also included people sharing their own parodies and versions as well.
Practical Value: ‘News you can use’ J Berger
I liked Kara Trivunovic’s explanation for this stepp better in his approach for successful Email Marketing. He describes that content should be relevant for you to share it. Previous demographic studies developed by Old Spice demostrated that women were the largest buyers of the brand, and that young divorced men trying to feel attractive again were also significant consumers. Very related to the Emotion stepp, this advertisement was targetting both men and women with its message and the actor portrayed. They were showing themselves relevant to the audience they wanted to engage.
Stories: ‘Information travels under what seems like iddle chatter’
Make your ad tell the story of your brand. Old Spice has always described itself as helping men smell like men and likes to include humour in their content. However, my favourite story about this ad, and perhaps what made me want to share it with you in the first place, was its clever production process. If you take a close look, you’ll see that it was shot in one take! The scenography moves! The actor memorised the lines, repeated the take around 80 times, until the final result.
Here’s the making of:
With such an audience engagement and full-on production, was it Advertising or Entertainment?
I’m on a horse.