Advertising Is Content, Content Is Advertising, I'm On A Horse

from the hello-ladies dept

For anyone watching the Olympics lately (despite the efforts of NBC -- really, NBC? Why air one of the most anticipated events of the games on MSNBC?! ), you may have seen this engaging Old Spice commercial where a man is magically transported from his bathroom, to a boat, and finally to a horse. The commercial was actually interesting enough for me to stop my TiVo and replay it twice when I first saw it.

The commercial itself has garnered over 2.5 million views on YouTube -- and that's just for the "official" version, there are many other accounts that have uploaded the commercial, which Old Spice has wisely not asked to be taken down (yet?). This serves as a fantastic reminder of a point that we've illustrated here before: advertising is content, and content is advertising. When you make a fantastic commercial like Old Spice did, not only do people actually seek out your commercial to see it, but they discuss it as well. I know personally that I have had no less than 10 discussions amongst my friends about the commercial. In fact, Leo Laporte's video, where he interviews the creators of the commercial about how it was done, has gotten over 100k views.

The big question is, however, how effective this ad was for actually increasing the sales of Old Spice.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Old Spice Commercials

    They really have their commercials nailed down. I sat on their channel and watched everyone single one of them they were so amusing.
    That said, I hate the scents.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Old Spice Commercials

    Great commercials, horrible smells.

     

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  3.  
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    scarr (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Old Spice Commercials

    ...therefore proving all the more how compelling the advertising is. Even if you aren't interested, you might point a friend or two at the ad.

    If this is what we consistently got between segments of TV shows, we'd happily be watching them.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Still won't buy that crap

    I think even mentioning that product name in my house would get me divorced so fast that I would get whiplash. Normally that might seem to be a trivial reason to get divorced - my wife hates the smell that much and I cannot blame her.

    Great commercials do not make a great product. Who wants to smell like their grandfather (during his post-life period)?

     

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  5.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Old Spice Commercials

    But at least you now remember that Old Spice exists. :)

    Personally, I neither want to smell Old or like Spice.

     

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  6.  
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    fairuse (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    Ad effective? Sales increase? The ad did change my wife's mind when the Dove ad got her thinking about replacing Old Spice. There it is, "smell like a man" wins over "soft skin". The soft approach implied dainty, Still have my Old spice.

     

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  7.  
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    Dez (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Reminded

    I never saw the ad on TV, but saw a few marketing friends tweet about it favorably. Not only did it remind me that I needed new bodywash (I ran out of my oldspice body wash), but when I got to the store I decided I liked a few of the new scents and purchased the spray as well as one of their 'island' deodorants.

    We'll see if I am riding a horse by the end of this, but hopefully I'll still have a fiance at the very least.

    Effective? Yes!

     

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  8.  
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    PRMan, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Seriously...

    A little off topic here, but the Canada/USA hockey game was the best game I saw in a decade. I loved the way they went to it in late night AFTER the empty net goal sealed it.

    They should have had a running order: "If it's close, we'll cut to it for the last 5 minutes of the game in prime time."

    And who has MSNBC in HD? Nobody I know. What a horrible programming decision!

    Why does the NHL "partner" with these guys. They're certainly not doing them any favors.

     

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  9.  
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    bob, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    NBC MSNBC Really You Have To Ask?

    MSNBC is tanking in the Nielsen television ratings.

     

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  10.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    I found the ad on YouTube and had, oh, 5 or 6 of my friends watch it, not for the product, but just because it really was incredibly entertaining. I wish more ads could be like this.

     

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  11.  
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    Jay Moore (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    free advertising for providers?

    I personally can attest to companies doing things like this. About 2 years ago I uploaded a copy of an iPod commercial that drove me nuts for about 2 weeks...and I expected Apple to promptly take it down. However, they haven't...the video is still up.

    When Gary Coleman did the ads for CashCall...I promptly put them on Youtube because, hey, that's funny right? I also expected someone to come along and take them down...but to this day...it's still up...and has been linked by everyone.

    I can't say all my advertising content is still up...some of it has been pulled...it all depends on the company that owns it.

    My opinion is with a lot of the adverts that do manage to stay up on YouTube...it's essentially free airtime for them. They want the ad to reach as many eyes as possible..and if people are going to put them up...that's still eyes having viewed it...even if it's just as entertainment value..it's still somewhat affecting what they do.

    Besides, the profit channels are different.

     

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  12.  
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    PEBKAC (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Seriously...

    Agreed, that was an awesome game. I...sorry, can't believe I'm gonna say this considering issues I've had with them, but...I was *lucky* enough to have Comcast and they added MSNBC to the HD lineup in our area very recently. And there were very few commercials (erm, thanks NBC!...oh, I've taken crazy pills...), which made it a really great experience.

    No matter who won that game, it was a good 'un! :)

    On topic: that ad made me chuckle, and I hate ads generally ('cause they're done badly). My dad wore Old Spice, rest his soul. Scent's a very strong memory inducer and invites some serious effects. Probably a good thing we don't have scent-o-vision.

     

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  13.  
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    Pax, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:03pm

    "Old Spice has wisely not asked to be taken down (yet?)" - WTF would they do that? It's not like they can monetise an ad by getting people to pay for watching it (say, like a movie).

    The whole point of whacking ads out there is to get bucketloads of people to see them and hopefully convert some of those eyeballs into money.

    These people *pay* to get people to see their ads. If they issue takedowns against a service that's giving them more exposure for no extra outlay, they're crazy.

     

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  14.  
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    Mr Big Content, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:14pm

    Lawsnick’s Mac

    Sure, this may be effective for an established brand like Old Spice, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for some up-and-coming new product that’s trying to establish itself.

     

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  15.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Eyeballs Into Money

    Pax wrote:

    The whole point of whacking ads out there is to get bucketloads of people to see them and hopefully convert some of those eyeballs into money.

    Funny, that’s the point of a lot of the content released on the Internet too.

     

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  16.  
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    mattarse (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:35am

    Re:

    I think the "yet" was reffering to other companies that have issued take down notices for commercials people had posted in the past. I recall a few times it being mentioned and no one understanding why on TechDirt.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Re: Seriously...

    Dunno about MSNBC in HD, but I did watch the entire game on MSNBC. Dang fine game. The commentating sucked, but I rarely pay much attention to the commentary anyway.

    I also notice that NBC has been a ratings juggernaut, exceeding the ratings for winter Olympics all the way back to 1994, and they may yet go even further back. Indeed, NBC frequently has an audience exceeding the other two networks, COMBINED. Wow.

    NBC is capitalizing on their MASSIVE ratings wins by upping their internal goals. They may still lose money on the Olympics, but the way things are looking right now, they may end up losing a lot less money than they originally anticipated as people tune in prime time in droves.

     

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  18.  
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    BBT, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 6:23am

    How long are you going to keep using this ridiculous phrase.

    Advertising is not content, and content is not advertising.

    Advertising CAN BE content, and content CAN BE advertising.

     

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  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 6:34am

    The big question is, however, how effective this ad was for actually increasing the sales of Old Spice.

    Don't know - but the highly entertaining "Compare the Meerkat" commercials in the UK have had a huge effect on comparethemarket.com ...

    plus comparethemeerkat.com is now a very succesful website on its own - I guess they've made a useful bonus on the merchandising.

     

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  20.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 6:46am

    Re: Lawsnick�s Mac

    "Sure, this may be effective for an established brand like Old Spice, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for some up-and-coming new product that’s trying to establish itself."

    It did for Comparethemarket.com - see below.

     

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  21.  
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    robster, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:05am

    great commercial.. even brought my wife to the PC to see it - also reminded me I needed more body wash. The wife came back w/2 bottles of Old Spice - they smelled good to her, so she bought them for me.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    this commercial is the best, haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

     

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  23.  
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    Mark, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 10:33pm

    hey

    Hey what does he mean at the end when he says hes on a horse? Is it totally irrelevant or does it mean something?

     

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