What if commercials really did talk to you? What if a familiar spokesperson addressed you by name and responded to your thoughts and feelings. In what is definitely one of the more creative social media ad campaigns in a while, Old Spice is doing just that. Its shirtless, muscled spokesman, the Old Spice Man, is shooting YouTube videos in response to people’s Tweets. Many oft these are well-known people with tons of followers like Kevin Rose and actress Alyssa Milano, who retweet the videos and spread them virally.
For instance, Digg founder Kevin Rose Tweeted out that he was sick, and in response the Old Spice Man created the video embedded above, in which he tells Rose that he has never had a fever himself because his body is “98 percent muscle.” He even talks to Rose in binary code so that Rose can understand, to which Rose responded on Twitter:
HOLY SH*T, best get well video EVER from the old spice man! http://bit.ly/dpSeOs
OMG… the old spice guy is stalking me.. ha’!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O44C765UiMw
The Old Spice Man also made multiple videos for actress Alyssa Milano, as well as ones for Olympic skater Apolo Ohno, actress Justine Bateman (who Tweeted, “Can the Old Spice guy do ads for ALL the world’s products?”), and Gizmodo. But he also responds to less famous people on Twitter like “Gabe” (see below).
The responses are often hilarious. (“My concern is that if I did ads for all the world’s products, it would cause global prosperity”). And they are certainly highly targeted. And it also just redefined the model for Promoted Trends. Old Spice is a promoted Trend, which takes you to the Old Spice Twitter account highlighting these videos as individual responses addressing each Twitter user who gets their own Old Spice commercial. The irony is that if Old Spice hadn’t paid to be a promoted Trend, it probably would have made it as a Trending Topic organically. But apparently you can’t appear twice as a Trend.
There are already more than 100 customized Old Spice responses on YouTube. We just wonder how long the Old Spice Man can keep it up. Below is a sample, along with the original TV commercial.