Mr. Wolfdog Not A Descendant of White Fang (Or Man on a Horse)

Dog videos are really freaking popular online, but not as popular as cat videos. Which is good, because the new marketing guru at Old Spice isn’t a cat, he’s a Wolfdog. If he was a Tigercat, that would be too obvious, pandering even. But a Wolfdog, a Wolfdog has legs. Oh, and like ETrade’s talking baby, words stream from Wolfdog’s mouth, clever words that show disdain for marketing, because that makes it funny, or funnier.

“Sometimes, you gotta eat people America, that’s how business works,” says the brand character. And there’s a lot more Mr. Wolfdog to be had. Wieden+Kennedy is sending a steady bark of Mr. Wolfdog Tweets, and working to spread Mr. Wolfdog’s message across the various social platforms.

Mr. Wolfdog was even kind enough to host a live webinar on marketing. Here’s a replay of that non-historic event:

Video streaming by Ustream

On top of the many formulas followed above (use of talking dogs and anti-advertising inside humor), there’s also the fact that Kenny Powers already took over a brand — K-Swiss — and 72andsunny’s version of a hostile takeover is jarringly refreshing. Shoe wearers are also inclined to believe that Kenny Powers might actually be running K-Swiss. None of that is true here.

There are funny lines sprinkled here and there, but no big idea to drive this campaign forward. This isn’t Man on a Horse, strategically or creatively. It fails to ladder back to under arm protection like Man on a Horse, and that’s a missed opportunity. This is a decent attempt at Internet-friendly humor, and it is funny in places, but mostly it feels like random “Hey, will this work?” posturing.



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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.