There are no guarantees your social media campaign will become an instant hit. Discovering how to successfully reach and engage target audiences through social media channels is, for many businesses, a trial and error process.
In its most recent campaign, Old Spice has won over social media users, on a global scale. Marshall Kirkpatrick from Read Write Web looks into how Old Spice achieved such instant popularity in his article ‘How Old Spice videos are being made’.
How do you take the social web by storm in a day, winning over even the coldest of hearts and gaining international acclaim – with commercials?
A team of creatives, tech geeks, marketers and writers gathered in an undisclosed location in Portland, Oregon yesterday and produced 87 short comedic YouTube videos about Old Spice. In real time. They leveraged Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs. They dared to touch the wild beasts of 4chan and they lived to tell the tale. Even 4chan loved it.
Everybody loved it; those videos and 74 more made so far today have now been viewed more than 4 million times and counting. The team worked for 11 hours yesterday to make 87 short videos, that’s just over 7 minutes per video, not accounting for any breaks taken. Then they woke up this morning and they are still making more videos right now. Here’s how it’s going down.
Setting the Stage
Old Spice, marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy and actor Isaiah Mustafa are collaborating on the project. The group seeded various social networks with an invitation to ask questions of Mustafa’s character, a dashing shirtless man with over-the-top humour and bravado. Then all the responses were tracked and users who contributed interesting questions and/or were high-profile people on social networks are being responded to directly and by name in short, funny YouTube videos.
The group has made videos in response to Digg founder Kevin Rose, TV star Alyssa Milano (now big on Twitter) and many more people, famous and not.
It is well done and it appeals to peoples’ egos – but there is something more, too. It feels very personalised, even if it wasn’t directed at you. Those people that got responses, and many people who didn’t, have Tweeted, Facebooked and otherwise shared links to the videos back out across their social networks.
Iain Tait, Global Interactive Creative Director at Wieden, is leading the effort. “In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here,” he explained by phone this afternoon. “We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time.”
How They Are Doing It
Tait says that the primary differentiator between this campaign and others is how closely technical and social media specialists are working with the creative team.
“We brought social media experts right into the creative process,” he told me. Tell that to the next person who claims that all so-called social media experts are just hot-air. Tait’s own savvy no doubt played a large role in the success of the campaign as well. He’s just been at Wieden for 3 months, after leaving a UK agency he co-founded 8 years ago. He was voted the Most Influential Person in the UK’s New Media Age Top 100 Interactive Agencies Guide last year.
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