Old Spice’s 2014 Superbowl ad shows moms singing and stalking their sons
Mother’s everywhere are mourning the loss of their young boys as they become a man. And in this Old Spice “Mom Song” commercial, they’re singing as they stalking their children, clutching to their cars while riding laundry bins, and showing up in odd places like beaches and cafeteria
A superbowl commercial website is calling this ad creepy, but it’s absolutely my favorite Old Spice ad since Mustafa’s “this is what your man could smell like” viral hits of 2009 and 2010. I hope the agency (still Wieden and Kennedy) runs it on the 2014 Superbowl. There’s a also a shorter alternative with a woman popping her head from a bowling ball machine.
My day job, when not a Viral Video Genius, is insights strategy at an advertising agency (which works in healthcare and has nothing to do with this spot). I’ve worked with P&G but not in many years.
So I like to try to imagine what “insights” drove this campaign. Here’s my guess:
Guys are sold on Old Spice. But moms are buying Old Spice — especially for young teens.
Moms see Old Spice as a brand for grownups, and they’re reluctant to let go of their boys.
Moms don’t want to be sold Old Spice or told they’re clingy.
So the creative challenge was likely to win over moms by satirizing the clingy mom who won’t let their kids grow up. “You, dear shopper, do not look like Arnold in drag in Total Recall.”
Note what the spot doesn’t do: it’s not telling moms to “let go,” or “buy Old Spice to help them get the girls,” which would have the opposite of the desired effect. This just in: seems I called it right according to this AdAge piece that attributes the song to musical agency “Walker.”
What ya think? Love it like me? Freaked by it? Think it will work?
You’ve seen the Ferris Bueller homage that promoted Honda during the Superbowl. Now watch Michael Broderick “then and now” as he delivers key lines in both the Superbowl ad and the film.
Be sure to check out all the advertisement’s “Easter egg” subtle nods to the film.
What perfect timing. I watched this “New Media Minute” by Daisy Whitney, and was interrupted by a Product Director who’s seething over his clueless media buyers. My client, like me, is perplexed and annoyed by the inability of most media buyers to speak succinctly to brands about two simple things: whether the media spend is, simply, “on strategy” and “on budget.”
The details are noise, and we just want to be convinced the media-buying firm is not completely clueless. Like maybe they’re buying based on efficient and high-impact opportunities and not to payback for the dinner AOL bought. I mentioned that some media buyers are the people from high school that could have chosen careers selling cars or mortgages, and generally had C averages (but to be fair, they dressed well and always knew how to tap the keg). He recounted his friend who “was probably 400 in a class of 399” and is now quite wealthy in the media space.
I really shouldn’t poop on media buyers until I walk a mile in their Manolos.
But imagine how frustrating it is — to a marketer and video creator — to read eMarketer reports that online-video is projected to grow at a bullish 30-40% annually…. but knowing that it’s all in the hands of career buyers of print and television who like driving f’ing awareness & attitudes and CPMs and anything else you can’t connect to sales.
People, video has the great potential of driving awareness, but also trial... dare I call it a “direct response” medium that “traditional media buyers” misunderstand, fear, loathe? Media buyers are to “direct response” and sales what belly dancers are to FIFO. And even the Wall Street Journal (a publication you’ve not heard of because it requires a subscription) says snail mail is still hot.
(Oh- you’re not a “traditional media buyer” if you are reading this article, unless someone sent it to you to chastise you).
I find Daisy’s characterization of marketers and advertisers hoping to “buy not rent” audiences a bit quaint, even if it may well be accurate. How many of us wake up each morning curious to know what entertainment P&G or Kraft has cooked up for us? Seriously? Pepsi is apparently bagging the Superbowl and launching some online thing that may or may not be fabulous. It’s “the next great thing” or BudTV.com all over again. We can’t be sure, but I suspect we won’t bookmark it. It reminds me of pharmaceutical brand managers in 1999 aspiring to have their website as the “home page” of every physician. Fat chance, but sometimes time is the best teacher.
I do like the theme of marketers shifting from interruption ads to the creation of engaging content and entertainment. Yey for that! But we impatient and ADHD-driven online-video carnivores are not likely to find it without some help from PR and ad spending.
Fortunately we’re seeing some new “video” ad networks (Daisy names Yume and Scanscount) that might help media buyers go beyond prerolls. I wonder if these companies are sophisticated enough to monitor their names in social media. First company to comment below wins a free pixel.
Read this TechCrunch piece by WatchMojo’s CEO for some tips for content creators looking to snatch some of the massive online-video spending (the writer leads a company that does branded entertainment, which is about as pervasive these days as ad networks). According to WatchMojo: “Unlike articles, you can’t fool audiences as easily with videos. It’s easier to get away with a slapdash article than with a slapdash video.”
Well that’s news to me. I’ve been fooling audiences a few hundred million times.
So here are some tips for the ambitious media buyer who, at least, wants to sound smart when speaking with a brand:
Acknowledge that online-video is growing, and that budget should follow the audience.
Don’t spend it all on pre-rolls. We hate them as much as you.
Find people who have already assembled an organic audience, and sponsor them or buy product placement. Go direct to the big ones (NextNewNetwork, Revision3) or use Hitviews, PlaceVine, Poptent or Zadby to broker deals with smaller guys. Did I miss any intermediary between popular web content and marketers? Don’t be afraid to raise your hand.
Partner with content providers and online media players to create webisodes that are entertaining AND engaging (with an emphasis on the former, since the latter depends on it). You’ll need a “branded entertainment company,” but be sure they have an idea of how to get the crap seen not just make it fabulous.
Buy the crap out of ad inventory that are driven by search (if they’re searching for your brand, you want to be there first).
Customize your content because if I see another 30-second spot as a preroll I’m going to power puke.
Use rich-media ads with compelling video content and an irresistible “call to play.”
Buy every Nalts InVideo ad you can from YouTube regardless of the CPM. I heard his content attracts your target buyers, and that they’re 45% more likely to engage in your ad because his videos are so bad.
But this year’s $2000.00 commercial featuring a crystal ball getting tossed into a Doritos machine beat many of the Madison-created commercials. It’s a good day for companies like Poptent/Xlntads, which contract with amateurs to produce TV and web commercials. The folks that produced the Doritos spot (see video below) have been awarded a million-dollar contract as a result. Not bad. I still like mine better, not that I’m biased.
Carla McLeod, CMO of Zeta Interactive, a digital agency that monitors buzz, said that “Free Doritos” was also the best-performing Super Bowl ad in the blogosphere. Not only did the spot have the most posts in hours following the game, but nearly 90% of the posts were positive. “People thought it was a fun, memorable ad,” she said. “It really resonated with that audience.”
In related news, the video I posted featuring my top-1o Superbowl 2009 commercials has been viewed 240,000 times in the past 24 hours (more than 6 times the number of people than fit into the stadium for yesterday’s Superbowl), and this blog has been viewed in the past 24 hours more than ever before– in fact 4x the second highest day. Oh I’m not bragging, mind you. Nope. Just letting you know the thirst remains high for Superbowl ad buzz.
Note that this post and video were done before the game actually finished, so we may see some unexpected surprises and need to revise accordingly. What do you think? Have some favorites I didn’t mention, or some losers of your own?
Here’s a Hulu widget that lets you watch the Superbowl ads in HD…
Now here’s my top-10 list (you can also see Adweek for some coverage).
Number 10 was Coke”s avatar ad– visually appealing and sentimental.
Number 9 may be the most quoted ad: “Think With Your Dipstick Jimmy” by Castrol. Annoying at first, but it grows on you like fine wine or oil sludge.
For spot 8… I don’t often like repeat campaigns but that eTrade baby did it again with talking babies.
Position 7 belongs to Dreamworks animated film “Monsters Verus Aliens” and the clips rocked even in 2D.
Number 6 belongs to CareerBuilder for reminding us that these symptoms may indicate it’s time to brush up the resume.
Number 5 goes to Denny’s who flip off iHop’s foo-foo pancakes. We need more Giggledrops, baby.
The fourth best ad belongs to Coke with its medley of animated insects. Ladybugs, like cows, sell.
The second greatest Superbowl ad this year goes to Pedigree Dogfood video, which features no dogs but will be the most talked about. Rhinos in cars? Common, peeps. If you didn’t laugh at that ad, check you funny pulse.Now for number 1: Miller Light’s “Deliver Guy” ad by Saatchi & Saatchi is the indesputable winner of pre and post game buzz. Windell Middlebrooks spent 17 hours taping these 1-second spots, and it worked.
Now the losers?
Spot 3 is the absurdly forced Gatorade ad featuring a collection of athletes and animated lizards. Puleez- 1996.
The second loser award goes to GoDaddy.com for still pitching hosting solutions with hot babes. That campaign is beaten to death, and is almost as bad as Peta’s banned veggie campaign. The absolute worst ad belongs to the biggest sellout since me. Ed McMahon’s Cash4Gold.comlong after we care.
Online-video sites featuring Superbowl advertisements of 2009
Why watch the game, when you can catch all of the advertisements on these online-video sites? And hey- most of these ads don’t have any prerolls. That goodness Madison Avenue and the online-video sites are finally cooperating.
Hey, good point there Nalts. There should be criteria. You qualify only if:
you spend less than 3 hours from concept to uploading,
you have the same person writing, shooting and editing, and
your camera cost no more than $1000.
I suppose I should enter separately the footage of my kids (these two kids are not mine, but I rented them to play to Doritos target demo) scrounging up the dropped Doritos like pigeons at a park.
If my co-worker Mike is reading this, he can kiss my ass with his comments about how I should have used fishing line and a Doritos on a pencil so it’s spinning even on the crane shot (in which I use a pool net to have the camera in the air). Kiss my ass, Mike. Where’s your stupid entry with the guy in college who lives on Doritos and has furniture made of Doritos. That’s almost as bad as some of these other hopefuls.