You don’t know anything about marketing. Look around you. Are you in an off-white office overlooking lakeshore real-estate from the landmark skyscraper while sipping your mourning mojito? Are you smiling enviously at how great and funny the commercial for that hugely successful brand was, only to realize it was you who produced it? Are you about to receive an award at that prestigious event that some famous (but mostly not so famous) celebrities attend?
It’s fine. We know you answered no to most, if not all of these questions. You might have even thought that they were mocking in tone, but thinking back on it, you realized they was frank and blatantly absurd enough to be found amusing. Good for you.
This has been the Old Spice marketing thought process ever since Wieden + Kennedy have been leading the strategy, helping the brand’s commercials exceed their own expectations, go viral, get quoted and gain cult status.
In the latest segment of the wild campaign, the new chief director of marketing for Old Spice, Mr.Wolfdog is introduced. Being an actual wolf, he is more than capable of doing the job well. His personal Tumblr site proves it, as well as the “how to succeed at life” series of videos which he will be releasing sporadically. And if you think those are downright brilliant, just read a couple of his Tweets.
Yet again, it’s all about the self reference. Making a commercial about making a commercial is funny. So is spoofing marketing tactics by having a wolf portray a marketing manager tell you outright that seductive marketing is going on in that very moment. It’s so bizarre it’s actually true, which is part of what makes it appealing.
The self-reference concept is a gold mine just waiting to be exploited and two of the latest ads that harness this suggestive humor you can check out here: the Super Bowl Samsung ad, as well as the first batch of promos for Old Spice’s wild collection. Samsung was a tad more subtle while Old Spice is known for being bold in its random incongruity. A great way to catch viewers off guard and slyly coax them into suspending their reserve, built up after having spent years in an environment highly saturated will all forms of advertising. By stating ‘yeah, sure I’m an ad, and ads are sort of ridiculous’, it makes it seem that both sides of the screen are on the same page. It’s a smart tactic for a contemporary audience and the popularity of Old Spice campaigns are proof that it works.