A well thought out and produced advertising campaign can resurrect a decaying brand, and give it a completely new identity. A poorly produced, unsuccessful campaign can forever associate the brand with something negative or laughable. “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign for Old Spice is an outstanding example of how a brilliant campaign can change a brand. Before the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign Old Spice was relatively unpopular, especially with young male consumers.
The brand that was originally launched in 1937 (En. wikipedia. rg, 2017) seemed outdated and irrelevant, while younger consumers were after something entirely new, not associated with old-fashioned generation of their parents. The “Smell Like a Man, Man” was created by an American advertising company “Wieden+Kennedy” in 2010, and it truly gave a new personality to the brand. Advertisers decided to hold onto existing reputation of a reliable brand, while giving it new life and appealing to new audiences.
There is no such thing as a general audience. Advertisers direct their ads toward specific audiences. Tailoring the offering to a target market allows the marketer to effectively satisfy the particular needs and wants of the consumers within this audience” (Hoyer, Macinnis, & Pieters, 2013, p. 13). Consumers of the product being advertised are young and middle aged men, but surprisingly, the advertising campaign was orchestrated in order to target female viewers. This campaign utilises a positive image of an overly idealised, dreamy male in order to target women’s suppressed desires and insecurities in relation to their partners and manipulates them using a positive emotion.
Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory posits that positive emotions expand attention, thinking, and behavior while subduing the automated arousal responses of the nervous system caused by negative emotion” (Tugade, Fredrickson, & Barrett, 2004). “Wadlinger and Isaacowitz (2006) found that individuals experiencing a positive mood broaden their attention only toward positive peripheral images”. This advert clearly aims to indicate that most women’s partners are hardly as close to a perfect image of the man shown in the campaign.
However, it offers an instant solution to that issue – switching to Old Spice. Everything in the frame has a purpose, nothing is there by accident. All backgrounds, colours, clothing and other objects have been selected very carefully in order to stimulate desired emotions and relate to the actor, as well as associate it with a certain image. This of course applies to the colour of the product packaging as well as the main brand colour – blood red. “Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. ” (http://www. color-wheel-pro. com) In the opening shot audience is addressed by a bare torso actor wearing a grey towel standing in a very simple, plain-looking bathroom. A setting that most middle class consumers and familiar with, and can relate to. The scene opens with a greeting – “Hello ladies”, clearly indicating that all further content is directed at the female audience.
As the camera approaches the actor, focusing all attention at him, he continues addressing female audience in a commanding manner – “Look at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. ” After the actor says – “But if he switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me”, and holds up the product, settings momentarily change. The bathroom setting is being quickly pulled up by a crane, and now he is standing on a luxurious boat and a chic striped shirt falls on his shoulders. As he starts walking and takes off the towel, it appears that he was actually wearing a pair of snow white trousers underneath it.
The actor continues as he walks along the boat – “You’re on a boat, with a man your man could smell like. ” The sudden change of surroundings and clothing now indicates that the actor actually belongs to successful upper-middle class or even to the privileged elite. An image that most middle class consumers look up to, are jealous of and want to become. As the actor continues to walk along the boat he says – “What’s in your hand? Back to me. I have it”. He pulls up his hand holding an oyster and saying – “It’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love”.
This enhances the image of a ‘perfect’ and ‘caring’ male. A man that appreciates his partner and takes her to “that thing she loves”. It is completely unimportant what “that thing” is, as long as she loves it. The oyster drops and diamonds start flowing from actor’s hand. “The tickets are now diamonds! ” – the actor says as the product slowly emerges on his hand as well. “Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady” – the actor confidently states, referring to the product as a mean, an elixir that helps overcome any obstacles and achieve success.
In the closing shot an actor is sitting on a white horse, holding up the product and saying – “I’m on a horse”. A very clever and comical use of a metaphor representing success and ‘on top of it’ attitude. Regardless of changing surroundings, the whole video is shot in a single shot throughout entire thirty seconds, in order to keep it engaging and attention grabbing. The filming for this advert took place on an actual beach, in order to make everything look as realistic as possible and convince the viewer that everything that is happening on the screen might actually be possible.
The set has been carefully constructed on-site, and the main goal of set decorators was to make all transitions from the opening shot in the bathroom, then to the boat and finally to the closing shot on a horse fluid, shot without any cuts. Furthermore, in order to maintain a real-life image, a bare minimum of computer graphics have been used. The only shot where computer generated graphics were unavoidable is when diamonds start flowing out of actor’s hand. Finally, thirty seconds are just the perfect length to deliver the message, familiarize the audience with a brand and at the same time keep it attention grabbing and easy to watch.
This campaign uses a positive and strong image of an overly idealised male in order to target women’s suppressed desires and insecurities in relation to their partners and manipulates them using a positive emotion. It points out that women’s partners are hardly as close to the ‘perfect’ image of a man shown in the campaign, unless they use Old Spice. The product advertised is a new men’s bodywash, however, it is initially unimportant what exactly the product is, as the most important thing is the artificially created image of a ‘perfect’ man, that consumers seek.
Therefore, consumers are attracted to the image of a perfect male, rather than the product itself. Audience is encouraged go and buy the product, regardless of what it is, in order to be closer to that image and to be able to relate to it. Women will be driven by the desire to change the image of their partners, in order to be closer to the ‘perfect’ image. While men will purchase the product in order to be closer to the ‘perfect’ image as well, so they would appear to women more. The global marketplace gets more and more crowded daily. Advances in manufacturing and distribution have resulted in an overwhelming number of choices.
It is becoming harder for companies to differentiate their product as each new product is relatively similar to the next, or the one that came before it. That is why numerous large companies have come to realisation that having a better brand is better than having a better product. The “Smell like a man, man” is a very good example of selling a brand, rather than a product. Brand matters more than the product itself, and corporations aim to sell an experience or lifestyle. The “Smell Like a Man, Man” stood out from from its contenders, and at the same time efficiently advertised the product and created a memorable brand image.
It wasn’t the typical look at all of these random features of body wash or deodorant, attempting demonstrate how effective it is with overlaid graphics and terms that don’t mean anything to the consumer. Instead, “Wieden+Kennedy” chose to create a personality that the audience would like and want to associate with. They don’t focus on the product so much as they do the personality and the attitude behind it, and in doing so they created a persona for the audience to not only relate to, but remember.