I apologise in advance. Posts about award-winning ads are like Number 9 buses: for ages you see nothing, then along they all come in a nose-to-tail gaggle. And there will be more: the Cannes International Advertising Festival is just round the corner…
This one, though, is about an old favourite – Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice Guy, aka “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”
It has just snaffled what is arguably the world’s most prestigious effectiveness award: the Grand Effie, courtesy of the North American Effies 2011.
No doubt about it, this is a clever, versatile and engaging campaign by an agency, Wieden & Kennedy, that’s on a roll at the moment.
Particularly smart was the way P&G’s media planners managed to bounce round Unilever’s dominance in the Super Bowl slots (X Factor and World Cup all in one, States-side) with a much more cost-effective digital viral campaign. Also worth noting is the way P&G cleverly targeted its ads, starring the suave Isaiah Mustafa, at women (who buy 60% of men’s body washes) as well as at the men themselves.
All the same, I reserve judgement on the incredible sales pick-up that followed the campaign. I’m not by any means doubting it happened. The original ads ran in February 2010. By May, Nielsen was recording a sales increase of 60% over the previous year. And by July, after a top-up campaign, they had soared 125% to an all-time high. Nevertheless, there was a huge amount of couponing going on in the market and, as observers noted at the time, it’s difficult to disaggregate the effect of discounting from that of the ad. In its submission P&G notes rather coyly under Additional Marketing Components: “Couponing; To help drive purchase (especially female shoppers) this campaign included a BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) coupon at several national retailers. Impact of coupons withheld from publication for confidentiality reasons.”
Niggardly I know to say this but, in a way, we’re no nearer the truth.
There’s more on this at the WARC site, but you’ll need a subscription to get at the submission.