Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Social Media

It is not easy to invigorate a 71-year-old brand like Old Spice. One may describe it as a scent which perfumed one's father. Some sons prefer to not wear their fathers' colognes. They prefer their own scent, a new one. Companies cannot always change their products. Yet they could change the way consumers perceive their products, which Procter & Gamble, with the help of Wieden+Kennedy, achieved with Old Spice.

How did Wieden+Kennedy accomplish this? With the help of consumers. After updating Old Spice's brand through a confident spokesperson, Wieden+Kennedy utilized the tweets, Facebook messages and YouTube comments of consumers to create content -- user-generated content. Thus the consumer speaks, and the brand responds: a dialogue. Consumers no longer want brands to speak to them without sharing in the conversation. In the recent Old Spice spots on YouTube, the "Old Spice guy" responds to their comments which originated in social media. That the actor, Isaiah Mustapha, responds humorously only embellishes the experience, since fun is a valuable commodity in these serious times of economic, environmental and political issues. How to invigorate a brand: user-generated content, a dialogue with consumers and fun. That is also how to invigorate sales.

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