This just in: despite the massive viral popularity of the Old Spice guy, sales of Old Spice are down.
Shocker. I don’t care how fun/viral/clever/sexy/whatever you dub the campaign, at the end of the day, it’s still Old Spice, the cologne of a million grandpas of yesteryear.
Here’s the thing: how much of the incredible buzz about this campaign has come from industry insiders who have a vested interest in it being a success for P&G? I mean, sure a bunch of social media consultants, ad agencies and general Kool-Aid drinkers (myself among them, of course) WANT this campaign to be a success because we all stand to look more credible if this does turn out to be a slam-dunk for Old Spice and P&G. Why? Because we’re trying to make money and/or a career creating this exact kind of campaign for other brands.
But now this whole Old Spice thing is getting muddy–sales are down, yet the popularity of the Old Spice Guy is up. Would canning the campaign be a “PR debacle” and hurt sales more? Or is this not even about sales anymore and, if so, what does that mean about advertising? That ads are now about garnering good PR for a brand and not about selling product anymore? What’s the ROI of that?