Just a few days ago conventional wisdom was something along the lines of, if you haven't heard of Old Spice's Twitter/YouTube thing or Nike/Livestrong Chalkbot, you must be living under a rock.
But what's emerging - mostly anecdotally to be fair - are stories of blank stares at the mention of either of these ... even amongst professional marketers. Both projects have played well within the digital echo chamber, but perhaps haven't permeated the marketing mainstream (let alone the mainstream mainstream).
And that emerging realization has added an interesting wrinkle to the conversation about these two campaigns ... if a viral video plays in a forest and no men 18-34 are around, does it make a noise?
Thinking about it, I still believe there are four points of value in both these efforts, even if they never make it beyond the echo:
- The success of these - success defined in a number of ways, including brand lift, sales, etc. - arms marketing communications agencies with a case study for how to do it right. The only downside is that some agencies will inevitably misappropriate it, promising I can do for you what W+K did for Old Spice!
- Marketers on the client side - those who have "social" or "digital" in their title or are fighting to give digital more share of spend - will have something to point to when confronting skeptical executives.
- The Old Spice example in particular shows that traditional ad shops are not as incompetent in social as some of the social media elite would have you believe. In fact they can be pretty damn clever. This is a good thing for the entire industry.
- Both programs are creative, delightful, well-executed. They force the entire marketing ecosystem to step up its game.