He’s on a horse. I am in awe.

15Jul10

I’ve been in this business for a long time. And while I try not to be jaded about advertising, it certainly is rare for me to be really impressed about a campaign. That’s why I’m having a really hard time explaining how absolutely incredible I think the Old Spice campaign from Wieden+Kenedy is. I’m seriously racking my brain to try and remember a campaign that’s EVER blown me away like this one.

There’s one perfect commercial after another after another. The concept, the writing, the casting, the acting, the special effects, the humor – there’s literally not a single thing you could do to those spots to make them better. And in this history of advertising there’s never been anything like them. Those points by themselves would make them a Gold Lion winner.

But then holy shit did they go to another level.

They got in a room with some social media experts and spent 11 hours shooting 87 personalized videos based on instantaneous social media feedback from fans. One guy asked for a wedding proposal from Isaiah Mustafa and got it. Beyond the fact that no one has ever used social media in such an innovative way, the sheer balls it took for them to write scripts in real-time based on instant social media feedback and then posting them to YouTube with little-to-no client approval blows me away.

The first spot was impossible to top… and then they did it. And then they took that second impossible-to-top spot and bested it by taking social media (and commercial production) and completely reinventing how it’s done. And there’s so much more. The campaign has become a cultural phenomenon. But beyond that, they’ve got the entire ad industry on the edge of their seats waiting to see what they do next. And that fact in itself is a feat that is worthy of legendary status. They also took an old, stodgy, irrelevant brand like Old Spice and brought them into the forefront of the pop culture discussion.

I’m just in awe of this campaign. As a writer you’d think I’d be better able to express how amazing it is, but for once, I’m actually speechless.

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