Old Spice. Something worn by everyone’s Dad in the seventies, and possibly still worn by everyone’s grandad. Redolent of sweaty Saturday nights in dodgy boozers with swirly carpets and fake velvet seat coverings. Not something any self-respecting young gent would want to associate themselves with, you would think.
That’s the position Old Spice finds itsself in in 2010: deeply unfashionable and almost unsellable. So what did they do?
They took a step back and looked at what they had: a brand with history and heritage yes, but history and heritage that carried negative connotations and came accompanied with the whiff of failure. But they looked deeper into that heritage, and found amid all that negative stuff a little gem: sure, Old Spice harks back to a naff decade, but it also harks back to a time when masculinity was unbridled, when men were men. Think Gene Hunt in Life On Mars rather than John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. And in 2010, amid the man-moisturisers and metrosexuality, this unapologetic masculinity is positively refreshing. It’s a brilliant piece of insight, and I applaud the planner that (probably) came up with it.
So, equipped with this thought, Old Spice stuck their metaphorical tongue firmly into metaphotical cheek and made a beautifully written, brilliantly funny YouTube clip that has been lighting up the old interweb for the past couple of weeks. I haven’t been out to buy any Old Spice yet, but I reckon they’re out to grab a share of Lynx’s target market, and I’m certainly not that! I’ll be interested to see whether this clip helps Old Spice to turn themselves around though. And I’ll also be interested to see if my 24 year old brother, an unapologetic Lynx fan, will give it a try. If he does, this clip will have done it’s job. I’ll keep you posted!