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August 8th, 2010 by brooks

Type of thing: Features

Along with many people, I had been sensing a lack of “seize the moment, disruptive, take over” type advertising lately. It is not a bad thing, I was writing it off to the usual reasons of companies not spending as much, or it’s too silly in a time when companies should be understanding what their customers want.

Behold, now there is a beacon to which we can look to satisfy this void. And for that, the glory goes to Old Spice.

Old Spice went ahead to infiltrate the many available channels, all at once, in order to really dominate in front of large crowds – Old Spice, an unlikely company with not much to lose and overdue for some freshness – ahem.

I would like to express some thoughts about this recent work from w+k. I think people in advertising are impressed by the amount of skits, because it verifies that, with how fast things can be produced and distributed when you have at least a few fundamental resources in place, this type of work is possible. And they might also think it uses just the right amount of gimmicks, or brand of humor currently popular online, short attention span required, to appeal to a mass audience, and what more do we need? I like it because it is silly.

Also, many don’t expect big companies like Old Spice to take a risk on putting their product in front of an audience by using the same means of producing, uploading, commenting, posting, communicating, to reach the very same people who use these same means every day. The antiperspirants maker did take over the Internet pretty well, so that part of the strategy worked, if that’s what they were going for.

We will be seeing more like this, but it’s not really the type of creativity I get super excited about from w+k. I think Tokyo Lab creative ideas/experiments, mainly for Nike, end up coming out the best.

I have to hand it to everyone involved in this campaign for realizing the concept, and I’m sure they have learned a lot, and Old Spice will surely benefit from all the activity, since I’m sure many people will be flattered by all that went into the advertising.

I, myself, am not certain these viral boosts are very helpful beyond an instant. Perhaps, for a long running company, it can provide a short pulse of life into their business, and can afford to have a little bit of fun every now and then.

To really have a lasting effect, its more important how honestly the company puts effort into creating a great product, interacts with their customers, and how those relationships improve our lives. So thank you for the laughs, old spice, and w+k, I will continue to wear a deodorant that doesn’t have quite so many chemicals.

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