Thursday, July 29, 2010

But is Mustafa moving product?


Isaiah Mustafa, Old Spice pitchman extraordinaire, is winning advertising awards, breaking YouTube records, and spawning massive amounts of viral videos, but is he selling any Old Spice?

Yes he is. The brand began to reverse share losses as soon as the campaign began airing in February, and sales were up 95% from mid-March to mid-June. They’re up 106% from mid-May to mid-June, which suggests that results are accelerating in sync with the campaign. It will be interesting to see what the sales figures look like for July, since 100 million people viewed the personalized videos in the first six days that they aired. (Neff, 2010)

While some have suggested that success lies at least partially with an aggressive couponing campaign that has been running simultaneously with the effort, I disagree. This campaign began with a brilliant consumer insight, i.e., many men use whatever soap is in the shower. This led in turn to the decision to target women, to convince them to buy the product for their men, and thanks to a very cheeky bit of creative (a tip of the hat to Wieden & Kennedy) a legend is born. I for one, can’t wait to see how things turn out. Stay tuned!

Neff, J. (2010, July 26). How Much Old Spice Body Wash Has the Old Spice Guy Sold? Retrieved July 28, 2010, from

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Venus Williams was a Girl Scout? Really?


Well it all depends on how you define being a Girl Scout.

Despite the fact that a new campaign from the organization identifies her as a scout and features her as someone who shares Girl Scout values, i.e. athletic prowess and business sense, the company’s website discloses the fact that Venus was a scout for a week. So, she attended one meeting? Was this a life altering event for her? How could it have been? She certainly didn’t have time to earn any badges or change the world.

To make matters worse, the feedback on the GS blog suggests that people are confusing her with her sister Serena, whose notorious outburst during last year’s US Open earned her an $82K fine for inappropriate language and behavior. Talk about spokesperson misstep.

Baar, A. (2010, July 7). Girl Scouts Campaign Highlights Impact. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from

(2010) Girl Scouts Celebrate African American History Month. Girl Scouts of United States of America website. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from

(2010) What did you do today? Girl Scouts Blog. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What are working moms doing for lunch? Shopping online!


When I worked in advertising, I used my lunch hours to run errands, often shopping for toiletries and other necessities whenever I had a few free moments. Apparently, in the interests of time, activity has moved online as working moms seek ways to fit 27 hours of activities in every 24 hour day.

In fact, 84% of working moms report that they spend between 15 minutes and a hour a day shopping online; mostly during the hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays. (Loechner, 2010)

That makes a strong case for delivering online ads to them during those hours. Need may be the primary driver of purchases, but 60% have also responded to email offers, with three out of four subscribing to email alerts.

That sounds like an opportunity to me. Do you agree?

Loechner, J. (2010, July 15). 84% of Moms at Work Spend Between 15 Minutes And An Hour A Day Shopping Online. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time to break out the Dawn detergent.


According to a recent ranking of ad effectiveness, Dawn detergent has risen to the top of the list with its prescient effort linking the product to cleaning wildlife soaked in oil. The cause –related message, which includes a $1 donation per bottle, was launched on April 7th, timed to coincide with Earth Day on April 22nd. But 13 days later the BP rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, and the campaign took on a whole new meaning and urgency. (McClellan, 2010)

This campaign is not a new direction for them. The pivotal role that they played in the clean-up from Exxon Valdez in 1989, put them on my radar screen. Then a helpful gardening maven at Union Square told me to use diluted Dawn to clean the bugs off my Jasmine plants. Is it any wonder that I have been a loyal customer for as long as I can remember?

But at this point, the highest compliment that I can give them is that I don’t mind the forced donation. The Gulf needs all the help it can get.

You can view the commercial here:

McClellan, S. (2010, July 6). Dawn Ultra’s Oil Spill Cleanup Spot Crowned Most Effective Ad. Retrieved July 7, 2010, from

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Say good bye to the line between advertising and content.


Back in the day, advertisers who sought to align their creative more closely with content were told that advertising and content were “church and state,” and the two would not be allowed to meld. Boy have things changed. Thanks in part to research that shows both recall and purchase intent are increased when ads are placed “in context,” collaboration is now being encouraged.

Case in point, as HBO’s “Entourage” begins their seventh season, they have asked advertisers, particularly those in the first position in the pod to align their creative with the show by relating their ads to specific scenes and storylines.

So much for editorial integrity. But does it really matter?

Friedman, W. (2010, June 28). WGN Pushes Ad Messages With ‘Entourage in Context’. Retrieved June 30, 2010, from