One of the best reviews of the success of the Old Spice campaign came in Simon Mainwaring’s blog about the top 10 reasons for the campaign's success. It's worth it to check out his list and appreciate the great confluence of talent, thinking, creativity, (and let’s not forget Isaiah Mustafa), that made this such a singular event for marketers and a successful event for the brand. One thing, however, that seems to have been missed in many comments is the fact that a key ingredient for the success was in the first two words of the first ad, before you even have a chance to register the environment, situation or even the product, "Hello Ladies..." declares that this message is directed at women. This was no accident, W&K's research told them, as shown in their own case study video, that women were the primary purchasers or at least influencers for men's body wash. So like any smart marketer they addressed the message to that audience and in a brilliantly creative way.
It should be no surprise at this point that just about any product that hopes to succeed online needs to address the role or the voice of women. Comscore recently released a study that confirmed that women pretty much shape the Web and especially the social web. What was impressive about the decision to address women so directly was the fact that Old Spice’s history has been all about men. Look at the sample below:
Or read Bud Caddell’s great post about how repetition led to the creative breakthrough of Old Spice, and you see that throughout its history Old Spice advertising addressed men directly with women serving as props and cheerleaders. In fact the tradition was that men defined masculinity in their own terms with women their to support this definition. Old Spice’s and W&K’s ability to turn this around and headline an, albeit tongue-in-cheek, female definition of manliness made a crucial difference in the success of this campaign from literally the second it launched.