Modern commercials are a funny thing. Ad agencies are trying to figure out how to give their commercials viral appeal while balancing that against providing company or product information.
The Old Spice guy campaign is more or less universally lauded as an example of how to reboot a company’s image and turn a commercial idea into a viral phenomenon. However, the videos, and the campaign’s subsequent expansion onto Twitter, focused on entertainment and branding: We knew what kind of brand Old Spice wanted to be and we laughed at (most of) Isaiah Mustafa’s quips and sound bites. Old Spice prioritized those elements instead of explaining how its products work or even what they smell like.
That worked for Old Spice, because most people can intuit how deodorant works; the company wasn’t reinventing the wheel, it was reinventing its brand. Old Spice didn’t need to provide detailed product information to make its campaign successful. Other companies, like Google, don’t have the same luxury.
Google’s products are often less obvious to an everyday audience. Google Goggles? Do you wear them? Are they on your phone? Is that some Mountain View euphemism? Google has the task of both explaining its new tech and providing a viral kick with its ads — that’s not easy.
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