Here Old Spice has achieved a seamless blending of a traditional ‘barber shop’ setting with this more modern vernacular and styling, once again appealing to multiple demographics in one fell sweep. Not to mention how their product bundles have names such as ‘Swagger Kits’.
But to return to the advertising campaigns Old Spice is particularly famous for…
The first The Man Your Man Could Smell Like video promotion was released 10 years ago, yet feels as fresh and ‘on brand’ for Old Spice as ever. With a high degree of production underpinning the video, combined with the witty comedic style, humour emerges exactly because of how exaggerated the advertising is.
The campaign strategy even evolved to the point that when Old Spice released a new product line, Bearglove, it began competing with itself. In these adverts, the smooth-voiced Isaiah Mustafa meets his match with the physical powerhouse and comedic actor Terry Crews – which can be viewed here in this handy compilation video. Yet again, comedy comes from how each figure works to undermine the other to push their product line forwards, albeit this is supposed to be an attempt for Old Spice to promote all their products (not to mention the deliberately dodgy special effects typical of many online viral videos.)
More recent advertisements continue this self-aware, tongue-in-cheek trend, whilst promoting the Old Spice hair thickening range. Like this video, for example, styled for the 60s/70s but with humour perfect for a contemporary audience.
The Jester brand archetype continues to manifest in how Old Spice is willing to poke fun at itself, prompt laughter and invite joy into their audience’s life. However, what makes these adverts so successful is not merely the fact that they’re funny, but because of how ‘shareable’ they are too. They don’t feel so much like promotional videos, rather clips brimming with lighthearted jokes and viral memes that you feel compelled to flick over to your friends and family so they can share the enjoyment too.
And right there, you’ve become a brand advocate and are doing Old Spice’s promotion for them.
Just look to the YouTube comments and many people are surprised that they’ve elected to watch an advert, with most of us skipping over video ads the first chance we get.
Old Spice might be positioning themselves as ‘jokers’, but it is a very deliberate, very effective strategy.
Not only does it nurture this advocacy and sense of connection and community around the brand; it reinforces the memorability of the brand and subtly shapes the audience’s thinking so that we consider them not as ‘just another brand’ or ‘another corporation out to get my hard-earned money’, but rather as a mate, a pal, a trusted brand that we can turn to for our more intimate grooming needs.
Additionally, if the Jester is all about pleasure and grooming is all about self-care and confidence in our own skin, it suddenly seems like this brand archetype isn’t such a leap for Old Spice as we initially thought…
So the next time you’re reflecting on your own brand identity – what kind of personality emerges in your marketing, brand voice and messaging – consider what you’ve learned in this workshop.
Would it be worthwhile identifying what your own brand archetype is? Working on your own brand storytelling strategy?
Because long-gone are the days in which we could simply highlight our products/services, outline the benefits, and expect audiences to come flocking to our doorstep.
Instead, we have to think about how we can differentiate ourselves in a crowded market and develop connections with our target audiences that go beyond the transactional.