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Posted on 03.16.2010

Old Spice—Not Just Your Dad’s After Shave Anymore

I love a good commercial. I love them because they are difficult to create well and achieve a desired communications goal. The new commercial for Old Spice body wash did just that—achieved its communications goal and kept me engaged. It also helped this brand appeal to a new generation of customers—a generation that thinks of Old Spice as their dad’s after shave. Watch it and see if you agree with my assessment: Number one, it entertained me. I laughed out loud when I saw this commercial. Now that that’s out of the way, we can break it down for its effectiveness. Number two, it communicates with its target audience. Sure, it’s a men’s product, but Old Spice has done enough research to know that women make most purchasing decisions, even on behalf of their male family members. It communicates to the person who is actually shopping and putting these items in her cart. Number three, the campaign appeals to a younger demographic. Because Old Spice has always been your dad’s after shave, the company needed some new products and a new feel to stay relevant in the market place. In a product category that contains Axe (for hormonally charged teenagers and single 20-somethings), Old Spice positions itself as the grown man’s shower gel. It’s for men who are young enough to consider using scented shower gel, but are old enough to have an adult lifestyle that includes a mature relationship. Old Spice used humor and careful messaging to appeal to a very specific demographic, reposition its brand and entertain all at the same time. I think it worked—what about you?

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