Old Spice drops the ball ten yards from the endzone

I was wheeling my cart through the shampoo and body wash aisle of my local Kroger when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a familiar voice. He said:

Look at my body wash, now look in your cart, now look at my body wash and take a bottle and place it in your cart. You are standing on my abs.

And I looked down and I was standing on Mustafa’s rock-hard abs!

Nice story, only it didn’t happen. I made it all up. This is what the last ten yards of a well-executed Old Spice social media campaign would have looked like.

For all the adulations Old Spice received from blogger after blogger, media show after show, tweet after tweet, somehow everyone forgot to actually sell something. The Old Spice display at Kroger in Englewood, Ohio — just a mere sixty miles up the road from P&G — looked the same today as it did before the campaign started on Wednesday. I took a picture in case you didn’t believe me.

In addition to the whiz-bang marketing that Wieden + Kennedy did for the social media campaign, they could also have easily contracted several merchandising service organizations to execute at retail with shelf talkers and floor mats. Even a simple cut-out and case pack at the end of the aisle would have worked; probably better and easier to execute.

Perhaps the next brand will get it right and carry the ball at a full-run across the end zone for a touchdown. It’s time for social media to get out of marketing and media and into operational execution. Eyeballs and clicks don’t buy product; bellybuttons do.

And that just leads to another vignette featuring Mustafa’s rock-hard abs starring his manly bellybutton.

Your thoughts? Leave them below.

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7 thoughts on “Old Spice drops the ball ten yards from the endzone

  1. You bring up good points and it does seem like P&G and W+K are a bit off on the timing of the retail level promotions. Guess we will see what they do, if anything at all. Either way, retail displays are going to be essential to capitalizing on the great effort made on television and online. That’s where the sales happen.

  2. Marketing is what happens all the way until a person makes a purchase or clicks “confirm payment” online. Old Spice has everyone talking about their brand. Good. The real test is how many people carry that message to the checkout line. We’ll see but you’re right, OS dropped the ball pretty close to the endzone.

    What if Old Spice embedded each YouTube video with a link where people could orderold spice gift sets with custom messages on each bar of deoderant?

  3. Great example of a brand that has gotten so excited about going viral it forgot to integrate the most important component – on the ground. I think the agency will win an award but the final ROI may be disappointing.

  4. Nice post! AGREED! I literally drove to Target to get Old Spice in support of W+K and social media as a channel and I was expecting at least a shelf display and ideally what you suggested. It would have been cool to have a FourSquare offer as I checked in at Target.

    1. John, What would have been REALLY cool is while you were shopping at the Target, after checking in with Foursquare, Old Spice man came over the PA and said something like “Welcome to the Target, John Hondroulis via Foursquare. You will find the Old Spice next to the ladies discussing your sexy abs in the shampoo aisle. Wash, rinse, repeat.” or something like that. Location services and retail at shelf is a match just waiting for a ring.

  5. Had the same thoughts during their campaign. I checked my local grocery shelf during the video onslaught and was underwhelmed. A week later it didn’t appear that any merchandise had even moved. Disconnect between advertising & marketing depts? I wonder if the viral nature of the campaign surprised everyone?

    1. @GIrlFuturist We do a lot of stuff for the retail marketing services industry (namely NARMS http://www.narms.com) so I’m a bit sensitive with the at-retail follow through of any media campaign. Some brands are fantastic at it and a good coordinated marketing campaign that follows through the last ten yards sees sales really lift. It is a bit disheartening to see this much effort poured into the top end and no follow-through at retail. Maybe an MSO noticed an opportunity and is busy selling it to the next brand that does the next social media campaign.

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