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Jul 17

The Viral Campaign Your Viral Campaign Could Smell Like

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This post was first published on the Sterling Communications blog

Four Tips To Old Spice Up Your Brand 

I know I’m not the only one that has been obsessed with the “Old Spice Guy” videos this week. Everyone, at least within the social media bubble, is buzzing about this creative and hilarious viral campaign.

And I’m not the first person to write about the videos. In fact, there have been some insightful and comical posts on the topic. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb gave us a behind-the-scenes view into how Wieden + Kennedy pulled off this campaign, andBrenna Ehrlich at Mashable offered some compelling statistics resulting from the videos this week. If you want to see the best of the best, check out Jay Hathaway’s post on Urlesque listing the top ten videos.

So what do I have to bring to the conversation? Any company that is paying attention is probably asking their PR, marketing or advertising department right now, “how can we get in on this?” First let me say, no copycats please! While videos of the Geiko gecko in his bathroom wearing a towel or the Brawny guy sending flowers to Tina Fey might be funny for a moment, it takes away one of the best parts of this campaign – ORIGINALITY!

However, I’d like to offer four key takeaways from this campaign for brands that want to create their own viral campaign.

1. Be creative!
Like I said, originality is a big part of the success here. When I first saw the TV ads I thought they were a bit weird, but I was glued to them. I talked with my friends and colleagues about them. I don’t talk about ads that are just like every other ad out there. If you want people to notice, take a risk! Get creative and try something new!

2. Get Personal!
It’s been said before, social media is a more personal experience than a traditional communication style. People want to connect with other people, not a stuffy corporate company. Brands like Starbucks andComcast get this. They represent large corporations, while at the same time show personality and authenticity. The Old Spice ads are absolutely personal! Even though none of the videos were directed toward me, they were still entertaining.

3. Act Fast!
Social media communications go at light speed. For example, if I waited a week to post this it would be old news. To be successful in digital communications, you should always be listening and paying attention. There is no time to send a tweet through four different departments for approval. The conversation, and your brand’s opportunity to engage, will pass you by if you get caught up in red tape.

4. Work Together!
The Old Spice commercials were so much more than a dude in the bathroom. An entire crew of people worked behind the scenes to pull this off; monitoring, writing, filming and editing. The best social media campaigns are a mix of technology, creativity and communication. Bring together various teams and specialists in your company for the right blend. Instead of the technical group fighting marketing, work together to create results everyone can be proud of!

It may not be a perfect formula for success, but if you keep these things in mind it might be your viral campaign everyone is talking about next!

What do you think made the Old Spice campaign successful? Did you think it was successful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear more opinions!

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