What Makes a Campaign Successful

14 Oct

The Old Spice campaign from Wieden + Kennedy has become a thing of pop culture. You can mention the brand ‘Old Spice’, and instantly people will know where you are going with this. The ads are nothing short of comedic genius. They are able to give the brand an identity, without pushing the product. The commercials do not list the attributes of the product, in fact the product is hardly mentioned.

But does this sell a product? John Bell, of Ogilvy, asks asks three questions to evaluate the success of the campaign:

1. Was it successful?

2. Why was it successful?

3. Did it improve sales?

The campaign was extremely successful through exposure online, creating a channel on Youtube, and a Facebook site. Youtube had over 83 million views. Now THAT is a lot of Isaiah Mustafa. Even if not all of the online views were the right demographic, or did not make a purchase based off of the ads, they carved out a distinctive brand identity and awareness.

Here is a table that John Bell posted. This obviously shows the success of the campaign, but simultaneously makes me question the general public’s priorities.

It is undeniable that the brand identity of Old Spice was solidified with this campaign. But what about what Proctor and Gamble care about, the bottom line. According to Adweek’s Eleftheria Parpis :”According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent.”

So the campaign was a success on all accounts. How do you create this phenomenon again? John Bell states that “If your goal is to copy the stunt tactic by tactic, I wouldn’t bother.Wieden and Old Spice were smart enough to combine a lot of successful elements in a new way to create something that feels original.” And I completely agree. The goal should be to create another successful campaign, completely disconnected from the concepts that made the original piece a success.



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