The New World Champions of Advertising

“Why do so many TV ads suck? Seriously!” – Norm Bilow, Managing Director, The Escape Pod. Just minutes ago.

Norm said that as he watched the new Cannes Grand Prix winning Old Spice ad from Wieden and Kennedy. This is that ad. It’s sheer perfection. Watch it and see. There isn’t a wasted millisecond. It’s pure old school hard sell wrapped up in genius execution. Solid gold.

If I wore a hat, i would be doffing it in appreciation. Not every Cannes Grand Prix winning ad is a great ad. This one is. Bravo!

Go on, watch it again. You know you want to.

22 responses to “The New World Champions of Advertising

  1. Yeah, somehow this spot entertains me so much, I’m not even really jealous that I didn’t come up with it. I’m just glad I get to watch it.

  2. it’s amazing dan. it’s berries and cream good.

  3. to me this is a great example that coming up with THE idea is faaaaaaar from making a great ad. and I’m talking basic storyline here.
    not coming even close to production, casting, location, dramaturgy etc.

    this is well-deserved GP.

  4. oh, and to make “I’m on a horse” widespread cool-lingo phrase is just unintentional genius.

  5. Ciaran McCabe

    There is a god, and she loves Old Spice.
    Ciaran

  6. riki, that’s something i’ve experienced over the years. the TV idea that sounds like crap on paper but is great in execution. these guys (creatives and director) had a great vision for this. basically, they’re just f**king with the viewer. but in a good way!

  7. I hate taking this side but I have too! =P
    Love the spot. But if it didn’t help increase old spice sales its a complete failure. That needs to be part of the awards equation.

    That said….I bought some Old Spice Sport Body Wash (only because of coupon + club card mind you so it was almost free) and I really like it. But my thoughts are if Old Spice doesn’t want to be ‘Old Spice’ anymore and wants to position like Tag or younger…they need to change the name.

  8. I need to add this before you all attack me because I know one goal of advertising is to get people talking about a brand (which can supplement sales if it helps slowly reposition and re-brand). But often I see so much more chatter in Advertising circles than from people on the street. And people who don’t make ads did not bring up this spot in terms of how it was made, the concept etc.

  9. beverly parker

    as an averagae viewer, i did not recall the product. I saw it once and remember the physic, the horse and the beach. I don’t think my stimulation was to go to the store and by old spice for my husband.

  10. howie, you make a fair point. but the success of this spot is undeniable. 11 million plus FREE views on youtube. it gets into the culture AND it sells the shit out of the product! if that doesn’t work then nothing will.

    i can tell you it personally worked on me. i found myself picking up old spice deodorant for no good reason other than seeing this ad. And i’m betting it worked on a lot of other guys (and their girls) too. it’s a pure image category. advertising can really move the needle here. deodorant is deodorant.

    also, i can tell you from experience that whenever something is a spectacular creative success as this is, there are always naysayers all too keen to say that spectacular creative doesn’t work. not that you’re saying that Howie. i think it comes from a desire to simply take a contrarian position.

  11. Damnit, now I’ve got berries and cream stuck in my head. So good I want to cry.

  12. The Voice Of Reason

    I showed my mum.
    She laughed.
    I told her I did it.
    She thinks I’m very talented.

    • of course she laughed TVOR. that’s one reason it’s truly a great ad. everyone can appreciate it.

  13. It really is an ad that makes you jealous. I’m sure more than one creative team that’s looking to button up a commercial keeps saying “We need our ‘I’m on a horse.'” I know we do.

    • ha! the one sure way NOT to end up with “i’m on a horse” is to actively seek one. when i worked on beer we had a warehouse full of unaired commercials that tried too hard to spark catchphrases. Remember “What do we have here?” for Bud Light? Neither does anyone else ;-)

      • True enough. CS Lewis said that no man that bothers about originality will ever be original. Just worry about telling the truth and you’ll be original without even noticing it.

        That said, WK did manage a decent follow up with ‘Swan Dive.’

  14. P&G did state today they have had an uptick in Old Spice Sales. So now I can be all on board.

    And I do take the contrarian view often because that tends to be an ROI view most of the time. Though I am very aware just because I myself do not observe something doesn’t mean it is not happening.

    Now 11 mil views are nice, since they are free. if it was 100% in the US that saved them a $700k TV buy. Not very big if its world wide. But P&G would love having even 1 million more Old Spice buys world wide.

    Now the bad news. I recently found out most of our body soaps and shampoos are screwing with our hormones in really bad ways, kids getting puberty faster, young men growing chests and the need for viagra which I hope never to have to get. I am going all natural LOL

  15. oh fucking great howie. we’re all going to grow tits. thanks old spice!

    i’m an ROI kind of guy too. but i realize the limitation of what we do. if the movie sucks, word of mouth will kill it. same with marketing. i used to work on reebok. reebok sucked. no ads were going to change that.

    the product offering has to be good.

    i think old spice is successfully playing Scotch to Axe’s Bud Light here. Old Spice is for men. Axe is of boys. that’s the unspoken genius at work here.

  16. Sorry for the late arrival but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it before. Don’t you think Old Spice is, by laughing at itself, hurting its brand?
    Would Old Spice be better served by leveraging its legacy to gain respect?
    Maybe for inspiration, the brand could look to something like the “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It” campaign for Canadian Club?
    There’s been a lot of accolades but is Old Spice looking at a short term gain and long term pain?
    I’m not decrying that they did something just that it wasn’t the right thing. I guess only time will tell whether the Old Spice guy is flogging a dead horse or not.

  17. I’m not sure Old Spice has anything of value to leverage with its (very young male) audience. it’s pretty much starting from zero here. the thing to remember in this category, like beer, is that there is always a new wave of consumers coming up who know nothing about the category and could care less about what’s gone before it. that’s the good thing. it’s a superficial impulse purchase and so things like brand equity can be fleeting and ephemeral. what’s happening right now is what matters most. and on that score this approach wins. i bet Axe/Lynx are hurting because of this ad. that’s all you can ask really.

  18. I guess the assumption then is that Generation Y pretty much know nothing about history or reject everything that’s gone. Everything is up for grabs then if it’s only them that clients are chasing. Trouble with that though is it won’t lead to brand loyalty. The next thing that comes along they’ll all be on and Old Spice will smell like cat’s pee to them. In fact doesn’t it smell like that now. In fact isn’t it actually cat’s pee?

  19. i’d say that’s a fair assumption john. old spice has been invisible here for the past 10-15 years. therefore it is essentially a new product launch.

    and it’s too early to say it won’t lead to brand loyalty. and you have to remember people are mercurial and one smelly chemical concoction is as good as the next. the ads can make all the difference here. and like beer, you’re ONLY talking to the young uns here.

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