July 22, 2010

Old Spice Numbers Smell Fishy

I've been on vacation for a while, but I've noticed a lot of web fuss about the Old Spice Red Zone After Hours Body Wash campaign. The one with that guy who looks just like me.

In case you've been even further from civilization than I have, the campaign has been an advertising and media sensation, winning major awards and poking its head into every corner of the social web.

Well, according an article from Yahoo! entitled "Despite Enormous Popularity, Old Spice Guy Not Helping Sales" the campaign is, um, not helping sales.

The article links to a BNET post that quotes Brandweek magazine:
"... sales of the featured product—Red Zone After Hours Body Wash—aren’t necessarily tracking with that consumer appeal: In the 52 weeks ended June 13, sales of the brand have dropped 7 percent according to SymphonyIRI..."
I am officially skeptical.

I think this campaign is a winner and I will be very surprised if it does not result in excellent results for Old Spice.

Some thoughts:
  • I don't trust the IRI numbers. Something smells fishy to me.
  • While the campaign is technically for Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, I believe that for most observers it is for Old Spice, the brand.  Consequently, I will expect to see increases in sales for Old Spice even if the IRI numbers are accurate for Red Zone.
  • If the campaign does fail (which will surprise me) I believe it will be because of targeting. As regular readers know, I am a fiend about targeting the heavy user in a category. I don't know who buys a lot of this stuff so what I'm about to say is speculation. This campaign seems to me to be targeting at horny housewives and gay guys. If women buy a lot of this stuff for their men, then the targeting is correct. However, if men buy this stuff for themselves, there is a targeting issue. 
  • Nonetheless, I expect it to be successful because great creative is usually the best strategy of all.
Thanks to Mark Manion for the lead on this.

No comments: