The false causality bias and the art and science of advertising
Similarly to other big interweb hits the old spice shenanigan brought upon us another wave of stupidity or as I called it previously the false causality bias. People using success stories to prove the effectiveness of the channel as if only by ‘doing’ the digital/social you will generate buzz etc. Following the old spice hugely successful assault, you hear the experts saying, “here’s is another proof that social media is powerful” or ” a striking proof that social media is a great tool for FMCG brands to change brand perception”.
The focus on the ‘channel’ is dafter than daft. What the old spice success has proved IMHO is entirely different:
It proved, yet again, that great ideas, well, they work! I find it a great reminder of the art and science of advertising. The success of the man your man can smell like was down to that rare stroke(s) of genius: first and foremost the quality of copywriting. Comic writing is arguably the most difficult form and the W+K team nailed it with immortal phrases (“Silver fish hand catch!”) that will forever remain in our popular culture. Then of course the combination of genius writing with the perfect casting and acting. Can’t imagine anyone could have done it better than Isaiah. That was the Art.
All the rest was ‘just’ the science, from the initial media planning and buying all the way to the ultra clever extension to real-time production as a live dialouge with loads of people from Twitter, facebook and youtube. Piggybacking or simply milking the success of the original ad was not least brilliant but something which has been achieved through great outreach strategy and admirable understanding of the culture we live by.
PS: The ever too clever Graeme talked about cause and effect from a slightly different angle (read it here it’s good)