Manliness Marketing

Jan 13, 2014

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The Man Your Man Could Smell Like and A Lot of Sad Mothers

I’d like to formally tip my hat to Old Spice for its last few marketing campaigns. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably remember seeing a series of brilliantly composed TV ads with a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa saying that your man isn’t as manly as he is, but that they could be if they would stop using lady-scented body wash. And maybe you’ve already seen the next wave of manliness marketing mastery from Old Spice. At the beginning of the new year, Old Spice launched a new series of videos in which woefully distraught mothers sing about their boys who have grown into men by wearing Old Spice body spray, and how they miss the days before their sons became chick magnets.

What makes these two campaigns so effective? Let’s take a look at an example from each:

Ever heard of reverse psychology? Let’s call this reverse marketology. In this, and other videos of the series, our poster-child for manliness very clearly addresses the ladies. Is he actually speaking to the women, though? Eh…maybe. There is definitely something to be said for the fact that every woman that sees this video is now going to associate THOSE abs with THAT bottle of body wash, and purchase accordingly. More importantly, though, Mr. Masculine is taking a jab at every guy in the audience! What goes through our competitive, male minds is something to the effect of, “This guy is talking to MY girl behind MY back about ME! And about how I’m not as manly as he is! Challenge accepted.” And we the race to the nearest grocery store where we buy a big, red bottle of man-scented revenge. That’ll show ‘em.

In this new video campaign, the target audience is a little more clear. What teenage guy doesn’t want to turn his mom’s world upside down by suddenly becoming an independent, debonair, ladykiller? Let’s be honest, anything that gets mom THAT riled up must be pretty powerful stuff. Before you know it, this can of spray is the deodorant version of a radioactive spider-bite and any guy with 5 bucks can be Spiderman.

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