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Old Spice goes viral

Isaiah Mustafa of Old Spice fame

If you'd ask me what I thought about Old Spice a few months ago, I'd have said oh yeah, that stuff my dad used to use, stuff I would never use because I really don't want to smell like my dad.

But Old Spice has used new media to reinvent itself. It started with a TV commercial where actor Isaiah Mustafa urges women to buy Old Spice for their men so those men will smell like him. He's full of both bravado and self mockery. The TV spot was a hit, people sent each other the video by email, Facebook.

This week, Old Spice and ad agency Wieden + Kennedy upped the ante, releasing over 170 web videos where Mustafa's character responds to people who've commented about him online. Everyone from celebrities like Alyssa Milano and Ellen DeGeneres to regular people. He even responds to his daughter and himself.

We talk to Ian Tait, Eric Baldwin, and Jason Bagley from Wieden + Kennedy about how the spots were conceived and what the process was like making all those videos in the course of a couple of days. In some cases, they were able to get the online comments, turn them into scripts, shoot them, and post them online within ten minutes or less.

We also talk with Dave Curry. He's director of interactive development at POP, a Seattle digital agency. He loves the Old Spice campaign and he says to get ready for a lot more like it.

Incidentally, something we soon noticed in talking to the Wieden + Kennedy guys (they use a plus instead of an ampersand, please don't complain to us about that) is that they have a strong sense of team. To that end, some of the names they mentioned that we didn't have time to include were: Ann Marie Harbour, Eric Coleman, and Craig Allen.

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