The applause for Old Spice's incredible YouTube blitz this
month hadn't even died down when critics started panning the effort as ineffective.
to judgment, some bloggers cited 52-week sales figures from before the video
responses launched as a sign that Wieden + Kennedy's efforts were
underwhelming. Contrarians jumped on these early reports as a chance to bash clever social
media stunts in general. But now the numbers
are in, and it's hard to argue that this campaign doesn't just smell like a
man; it smells like victory. In her new analysis of the Old Spice video push,
Adweek's Eleftheria Parpis has this summary: "According to Nielsen data
provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11
percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55
percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots
and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent." So isn't that
enough to satisfy the critics? Perhaps, but only grudgingly. In his Adweek column
today, a curmudgeonly Joseph Jaffe gives the campaign a mild share of praise
amid a thicket of caveats: "It's hard to determine how much of (the sales
increase) was due to an aggressive couponing campaign which was in market
simultaneously, but directionally, there does appear to be a correlation
between creative resonance, social momentum and sales." Not quite a resounding endorsement, but it'll have to do.
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