Old Spice Videos Made Us Laugh, But Not Buy

July 23rd, 2010 → 11:36 am @ // 0 Comments

That Old Spice thing really made a huge internet splash last week didn’t it? But did it make money for the company? From MarketingVox

The wild success of the Old Spice ad campaign has reminded marketers of something they’d rather not dwell on: even if an ad goes viral, it doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. Last week, Old Spice spots occupied a record-setting four positions on the “Top 10 Viral Video Ad Campaigns Chart,” compiled by Visible Measures, MSNBC noted. But sales of “Red Zone After Hours Body Wash” – the specific Old Spice product the top spot is promoting – have fallen by 7% in 2010, it said, pointing to WARC figures. The first ad debuted at the Super Bowl in February.

Missed the videos? Here’s one.

The reason they’re not seeing sales (ROI) on this is because a viral video for a major consumer brand isn’t going to do more than entertain and build a brand. It’s basically like putting out a series of magazine ads. There’s simply too much disconnect from the only point of purchase, which is in the store, and the message, which is delivered via the Web.

For example, you’re watching the Old Spice videos, and laughing and being entertained, but there’s not a “buy now” button anywhere in sight. If you want the product, you have to get in the car, drive to Walgreens, find it in a sea of other products, and then buy it. Whew… a lot of work.

But that doesn’t happen. The Old Spice viral videos made us laugh, but they didn’t make us buy, because again, big name retailers don’t get how to move the needle in true Internet Marketing style. What I would have done would be to put a direct “buy now” button on a landing page and pushed the videos with a call to action to that page at the end of each video, and I’d put an annotation on the videos doing the same thing.

That landing page would have a special offer on it to purchase the product. A coupon, a discount, something fun even. Heck, why not let them buy a voucher they could take into a store? Let them buy something! Then, and only then, would they be able to actually say, “Hey, these videos work and we sold some stuff.”

Why are big brands so afraid of direct response? Are they so afraid of cheesing off their retailers that they won’t try? It’s time for them to give it a shot. How else are they truly going to measure success?