About a week after I published the Tragedy Strikes at Target piece about Classic scent Old Spice body wash, a couple of funny things happened. First, a comment was left by one “Woman who loves Old Spice,” stating how manly she thinks the smell is and how she hopes they never stop making said product. Okay, maybe that’s not that funny.
A few days later, however, we here at the DK received comments and emails bearing the same email address. This time, she revealed her identity as a Wieden + Kennedy employee (the ad agency who handles the Old Spice campaigns for Procter & Gamble) and went on to say that their client loved the piece and could they send me a bunch of OS swag to show their appreciation? Sure. Why not? Who doesn’t like free shit?
But here’s what’s up. 1.) Why anyone over there enjoyed my post—which expressed my deep disappointment in their recent product changes and at least one time referred to them as ‘hacks’—is beyond me. 2.) Attempting to leave comments under the guise of a random reader when you’re actually involved in the promotion of a brand is LAME. 3.) These guys must think I’m 16 or something, and that a few lousy belt buckles and t-shirts can bring me back to 100% brand loyalty.
‘Fraid not, guys.
What they probably don’t know is that I’m a grown man, complete with a marriage, mortgage and a paid-off car to boot. They probably don’t know that I hold a BA in advertising and have—when I chose to work in the field—enjoyed great successes in marketing. I know exactly what they were trying to do: Buy me off.
Now, I don’t expect this or any of my previous rants to change P&G’s plans for the OS brand. I understand that they need to appeal to a younger demographic to perpetuate the brand. And I have worked in corporate America enough to know that ultimately it’s the shareholders they answer to. But again—what they seem to have lost complete track of is the men who made the brand what it was in the first place. And as for W+K? They just advertise the shit, so I suppose they’re just doing their jobs.
But to both P&G and W+K, I say this: Thanks for the free stuff, but you completely miss the point. The OS brand has become so diluted with myriad teenage-boy-smelling products (that After Hours sample made me gag, BTW) and very little left for those of us who loved what made Old Spice Old Spice.
Tell you what, P&G—this post might serve as one of the most unsavory cover letters you’ve ever read, but I’m always available as a hired gun for the right price. You want to create a clear brand identity? Want to appeal to males of all ages without alienating one age group or another? Want to save on costs while upping volume by sharply focusing the ridiculously bloated line-up you know offer? Drop me a line. Let’s talk.