Stories worth watching … #3: Old Spice

When are you old? When you grow grey hair? When your six-pack turns to pudding, your “V” into a pyramid? When you can’t become twice the age you are anymore?

When you start using Old Spice?

C’mon! Which man under the age of 150 would use this auld odour, the smell of which used to make your wrinkles multiply within a nostril’s movement?

Or so I recalled.

I confess, I’ve tried the spice, just recently. And I totally blame ONE person for this: The “Old Spice Man” telling his imaginative, fairytale-like series of quick stories (or advertisements, as the vulgar tongue might call it) of “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”.

Almost three years after the campaign’s launch and maybe a year after I became seduced by these funny and promising Old Spice Man stories (and stories they are, even without an classical plot within the 20-30 seconds, but the promise of one hidden in every one), I decided to believe the fairy tale, standing in front of the shelf of my local drug store, suspiciously looking over my shoulder for friends (or foes) witnessing my imminent bold (and maybe embarassing) action … and let a sample of Old Spice’s new “Wolfthorn” deodorant slip into my shopping cart, put it on the cash desk conveyor belt like that young fellow in the old condoms ad you might remember – and into my bag.

A day later, trying it on at home, I found out: It works! The story IS true!

Why? My little eight-year-old daughter came up to me and said: “Dad, now you smell like a real man!”

True story, this.

So, and since there is always a moral to a blog, here we go:

Contradicting my beloved Cluetrain Manifesto’s 74th thesis claiming that “we are immune to advertising”, I do believe, in the name of the wolf’s thorn, that advertising does still work, even today, at the end of the one-way age of broadcasting. IF it tells a story, offers or promises a plot, implicitly or explicitly, but never violates the storycodeX of EXPECTATION, SURPRISE and CHANGE as the constant beads of its narrative chain. And if you find out afterwards that the ad didn’t promise heaven on earth, but actually offered you an element of truth you could verify through your own experiences with the product.

Which I could. OR is there a more convicing truth out there than the one seen through the eyes of a child – or better: smelled through her sensitive nose?šŸ˜‰

What’s reassuring: I’m not alone (47,475,478 views and 41,348 comments on the first spot alone). And if you search for “old spice sales after commercial ” on Google, you can find out that the campaign is not just a viral and image success: sales increased by 107% alone in the first twelve months after the launch of this commercial. Not bad, old man!

So, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Why?

In any case: Iā€™m happy to read your voice and see you again. Here, where the story goes on ā€¦ soon.

One thought on “Stories worth watching … #3: Old Spice

  1. Gee, I’m commenting my own blog!

    BUT: A friend commented on Facebook to this post and made me aware of this very nice persiflage of the Old Spice spot. Here it is for you to enjoy:



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