Old Spice Looks For An Edge

Old school packaged goods company P&G is looking for a fresh approach and there are few better places to find it than in Northwest Portland.
The New York Times interviewed the Wieden + Kennedy creative team behind the new Old Spice camapign.
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“Previous generations loved Old Spice and had a more emotional attachment to it,” said Monica Taylor, an art director at Wieden & Kennedy who is one of two creative directors on the account. “I remember my dad using it; it was such a deep, rich brand.”
Mark Fitzloff, a copywriter at Wieden & Kennedy who is the other creative director on the account, chimed in: “If you put Nikes on your feet, you’re making a statement. If you’re using Old Spice, you’re not. Procter wanted to see if they could change that.”
“Our timing was good because this is a moment when everyone appreciates authenticity, when retro is not necessarily a bad word,” Mr. Fitzloff said. “So we can say, ‘You can either be authentic or trendy.’ ”

I have yet to see all the work in this campaign, but the ad above doesn’t do much for me. It seems like a tame response to Axe (as does the above quote) and there’s nothing “authentic” about that. I’m not faulting the creative team as much as I’m questioning the strategy. It seems needy and unbecoming for an established brand to play in this sandbox.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.