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Old Spice heralds latest product with digital-first campaign

Procter & Gamble?s Old Spice is introducing its Hydro Wash body wash line with an integrated campaign anchored by spots that recruit a staple of a year-old campaign: Legendary Man, Axel Kiener. 

The campaign, titled Don?t Smell Yourself Short, was launched via Old Spice?s YouTube channel on February 1 and made its television debut during Super Bowl LI?s pre-game programming.  The full creative campaign, developed by Wieden+ Kennedy Portland, will begin airing on national TV on February 13, and also features perennial advertising fan-favorite, NFL star Von Miller.

"Old Spice's Don?t Smell Yourself Short campaign appears to be tapping into the emotional side of man," said Michael Becker, managing partner at The Connected Marketer Institute. "As Carl Marci at Nielsen recently noted when speaking at our recent TCM Institute Summit & Awards Ceremony, 'We?re emotional beings that are occasionally rational.'

"It is important that marketers look to tap into an individual?s emotions and motivations if they?re going to have lasting success, especially when it comes to social sharing.  As for the social presence, they?ll want to ensure that they consider the culture and norms of each social channel they use and tailor the content and experiences appropriately."

Don?t Smell Yourself Short
Axel Kiener appears in a series of five short videos, all of which are available to watch on Old Spice?s YouTube channel. The digital rollout mirrors that of many other brands premiering advertising on YouTube before establishing any presence on traditional media, a trend that has even penetrated Super Bowl festivities, where advertising is a huge draw and the element of surprise is crucial to the consumer experience. 

The videos star "Legendary Man, Axel Kiener"

The videos are extremely on brand for Old Spice and its droll brand identity: One features Mr. Kiener being carried through the rainforest by a gorilla, and another features him inexplicably showering under a tree in the middle of the desert. 

And ?Jungle Hero,? the campaign?s longest spot at 60 seconds, features a rollicking story that has Mr. Kiener engaging in a sign language conversation with a gorilla ? left field, even for Old Spice. 

In addition to the ads, Old Spice introduced its next chapter of product infomercials guest-starring Super Bowl 50 MVP and Von Miller. In it, Mr. Miller stars as ?Van Mueller,? who joins TV pitchman Bob Giovanni to hawk Hydro Wash body wash in the ?first-ever commercial actually shot live in Death Valley? (A disclaimer states that the commercial ?may not have actually been shot live in Death Valley?). 

Procter & Gamble
Interested users can join the conversation through the hashtag #smelllegendary.

Mr. Kiener breaking bread with a group of gorillas

Parent company Procter & Gamble has been making waves with its marketing, especially in the past few months. The conglomerate?s Mr. Clean property released one of the most talked-about Super Bowl commercials in recent history, which features a titillating rebrand of its eponymous character (see story). 

Procter & Gamble also came out with one of the most entertaining holiday campaign?s last year with the second iteration of its 12 Stinks of Christmas campaign for its Febreeze property (see story).

"It is well understood that the majority of people?s media consumption is happening over digital channels, channels like YouTube, which is the second largest search engine, or Snapchat, which has a daily audience equivalent to the 8th largest country in the world," Mr. Becker said. "People are digital, and brands must follow; however, for a brand to capture a critical audience it is important that it align with not just niche community channels but with premier spots as well, that way they?ll still achieve enough reach to impact business results."