A couple of months back, Ad agency Wieden and Kennedy went looking for Old Spice’s next Social Media Strategist. I wrote an article about it, which you can find here. The spark notes were thus: candidates were required to jump through hoops by completing a series of bizarre challenges over social media platforms in an effort to become the next social media strategist for Old Spice.
About a month ago, we saw whoever it was that got the job, in action.
For the duration of a single week, Old Spice completely rebranded all of their social media with a new campaign. The concept was thus:
The company had hired a new marketing director to launch its new “smell of the wild” range.
That marketing director was also a dog.
No, not a dog.
Communicating with humans through a radio-type translator device slung over his neck, Mr Wolfdog offered lessons on his own questionable brand of marketing theory whilst occasionally eating his employees. The Wolfdog possessed the molten caramel baritone voice that seems to be the signature of a great deal of Old Spice’s characters.
For the brand that essentially set the benchmark for Social Media marketing, the Wolfdog campaign raised the bar once more, at least from the perspective of sheer courage and creativity.
Over the course of seven days, the Wolfdog did the following:
- Created no less than four Youtube videos of himself.
- Tweeted almost non-stop.
- Ran a one-hour interactive-webinar entitled “how to make the sales”.
- Created a blog in which he posted a multitude of videos designed to increase computer literacy.
- Hired a three interns through a series of Google hangouts, and made them create an ad for Old Spice.
- Played video games over Xbox Live with his fans.
- Created a telephone hotline that could be called, which would enable employees to look busy in front of their bosses.
- Released a motivational business album entitled “Night Business” in which he repeats business related buzzwords like “synergy” and “business-casual” to a seventies-style, heavily synthesised backing track.
- Answered homework related questions that students had tweeted him.
- Produced ringtones.
The campaign concluded with a final video of the Wolfdog being arrested by a SWAT team for eating one of his employees. The campaign ended, and wolfdog has not been spoken about since. Will he return? Who knows? He certainly engaged a great deal of people over the course of his seven day reign.
Love or hate Mr Wolfdog one thing is for certain, their new social media strategist knows that two-way engagement is the cornerstone principal of how social media marketing works. He’s also not afraid to jump off the beaten path in order to cultivate it. The entire campaign was essentially an experiment in the many different avenues available to Social Media strategists, leaving no interactive outlet untapped.
Did the Wolfdog actually increase sales for the brand in the same way as the “Man your man could smell like” campaign did? Probably not, it would be very interesting to see how Old Spice measured ROI for what was no doubt an incredibly expensive campaign to produce.
Engagement cycles are the bread and butter of social media, but it is productively produced by these cycles that ultimately determine a presence, or a campaigns actual value. As much as I enjoyed the Wolfdog experience, I can’t see much coming out of the campaign beyond sentiment.
I for one would not be surprised if the Wolfdog did one day return. The sentiment that he cultivated, harnessed further and he becomes a re-occurring character within Old Spice social media world.
But then again, it could all be for the novelty.