There’s no denying that the “Should Your Man Smell Like an Old Spice Man?” ad campaign has received enormous media coverage. The problem: Sales are down a surprising seven percent. This situation is far from unique.
In 1985, to counter Wendy’s massively successful “Where’s the Beef?” ad campaign, Burger King unleashed “Where’s Herb?” Herb was supposedly the only person who had not eaten a Burger King burger. The commercials received quite a bit of attention: The actor who played Herb was even a guest judge at Wrestlemania II — about the closest thing to “going viral,” pre Internet — but the campaign failed. Not only was the ad campaign scrapped, the advertising agency responsible was fired.
Why have Old Spice sales dropped during this current campaign? Here are some interesting theories:
• Are the women targeted by the ads not actually the ones making body-wash-related decisions for the men in their life?
• Is the Old Spice brand too “old” to resuscitate, even by a shirtless hunk who personally answers his fans?
In any case, it doesn’t take too much analysis to realize that if people are at home submitting Twitter questions to the Old Spice Guy, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re rushing out to buy Old Spice. Consumers certainly can’t smell how wonderful Mustafa smells through their computer — but they sure do like hearing him say their names.
Mass attention does not always equal money in the bank!