So today, or yesterday depending on where you are from, we witness a huge huge first in viral advertising / marketing strategies and it paid off BIG, like Nintendo Wii Big! For the first time, at least that I know of, a company decided to talk to their customers, as in literally take questions(albeit silly ones) on the air and then respond directly back to that person. Not only that but create an endless stream of commercials in near real-time based on what their customers were saying.
The ads themselves are funny as hell and creatively shot to boot with the ‘I’m on a horse’ ad being done in one shot with the only special effects being the diamonds pouring out of his hand. Now Oldspice in the past couple of years has developed some of the funny ads around but the news ones were a notch above the rest, however it wasn’t until today that they truly blew everything out of the water, and this time it wasn’t with a new ad in the traditional sense of the word it was by doing something that has never been done before to this scale.
So today, or yesterday depending on where you are from, we witness a huge huge first in advertising / marketing strategies and it paid off BIG, like Nintendo Wii Big! For the first time, at least that I know of, a company decided to talk to their customers, and not only that but create an endless stream of commercials in near real-time based on what their customers were saying. As most of us living outside of caves will know Oldspice has a new Manly front man Isaiah Mustafa and new hilarious ads from Craig Allen and Eric Kallman.
The ads themselves are funny as hell and creatively shot to boot with the ‘I’m on a horse’ ad being done in one shot with the only special effects being the diamonds pouring out of his hand.
Instead of paying Isaiah to spend another day or two shooting an expensive ad what they did was put him in a bathroom with a high quality camera and simply had him answer youtube comments, tweets, facebook messages and the occasional reddit blurb here and there. Obviously his retorts are hysterical and of the same tone that you’d expect his commercial character to be in, but that is it. Well I should’t say ‘that is it’ as if it we’re no big deal, it’s the sheer magnitude of what they are doing that is amazing. At last count there was 181 video responses from Isaiah up at http://www.youtube.com/oldspice , ranging from 30 to 75 seconds – and this is only the FIRST DAY. In 24 hours http://www.youtube.com/oldspice has become the most watch youtube channel for the day, each of these videos is getting around 16,000 views on the low end and upwards of 340,000 views on the high end for replies to celebrities like Paris Hilton, Ellen Degeneres or even Twitter themselves, keep in mind this is just the First 24 hours.
Now Youtube doesn’t update their overall stats for upload views in real time but in total all of the oldspice videos up until these new video replies garned an impressive 53,022,437 views at last count with the original Isaiah ad that starts in the bathroom having 13 million views over the past 5 months. After the first day the combined viewership of all of these replies was sitting at 6,703,414 and considering these numbers are only updated once every 3-5 hours you can bet your bottom dollar this number is actually closer to 10 million. 36 hours after the first replies went live on Youtube they had garnered a combined viewership of 23,198,055
Pretty god damn impressive, but just how impressive? Well let’s put this into perspective. First off the cost of producing these ads was basically the electricity to run the camera and lighting, the writers salaries for the day and then Isaiah’s salary for the day. There is no post-prod or much editing so you can budget minimal amounts for that. That’s IT! Now we are looking at around 10 million views in 24 hours, roughly 24 Million views in a 60 hour time frame and no doubt topping 30 million views after 72 hours. That is as many ad views as you garner during a SuperBowl(considering a 102 viewership with 25% of the people staying for commercials and 30 seconds of ad time during the superbowl is roughly $3 million . In 72 hours this stroke of marketing brilliance has accumulated a worth in the advertising world of $3 million, what will it be worth in 96 hours? What about next week?
These guys are for the first time, in a massive way leveraging the power of all major social networks and completely decentralizing the efficiency of the delivery platform. They are relying on youtube for the actual delivery, but it isn’t because of youtube specifically that these ads are being seen as they could have easily gone on vimeo or any other video hosting site. Granted youtube is the top dog and they are the reason the videos are available but they aren’t the sole reason the videos are so popular, that power has been given to the users, the viewers themselves. The people are promoting the videos because A.) They’ve democratically voiced their opinion that they are funny as hell and worth watching and B.) Because the ad geniuses realized if we just had Isaiah talk directly to theseusers on twitter, facebook, reddit, etc etc then of course they are going to tell all of their friends to watch it, causing this massive explosion of free viral promotion the likes that this world has never seen before.
This is definitely breaking ground around the world of marketing and you can bet your ass every single advertising executive and their neighbours dog is making phone calls trying to figure out how the hell to emulate this, and you can also bet that everyone over there at Old Spice is sitting extremely smug all saying the same word over and over and over again in perfect unison.
Update: Ah, alas, as was mentioned in the below videos it looks like all good things must come to an end. Old Spice is not having Isaia do another day of replies
Update #2: As of 12 noon 3 days after the video replies there are a total of 183 replies(including the good bye video) that have received a total of 23,198,055 views which was nearly 1/2 of the total views that all of the other Old Spice videos combined on youtube have received since the channel went live 4 years ago
Heres Interview with Leo Laporte on the Making of the ‘I’m on a Horse’ commercial, showing how they did it with one long continuous prop shot using very little special effects: