In the future, all advertising will be based on the Old Spice Guy. The sooner we accept it the better. The latest entry into the field is Kraft Dressing's Zesty Italian salad dressing line with, wait for it, "The Zesty Guy."
One can only imagine that Kraft dropped this on April 1 for a reason, as it appears to be a legitimate, non April Fools' prank. There's a landing page, GetMeZesty.com where one can send a personalized "Zestygram." And the "Zesty Guy" is on Twitter, naturally, where he is responding to tweets and uploading Vine clips while in character, a move that feels familiar to fans of P&G's Old Spice suave social moves.
According to at least one blog, the campaign is going offline as well with the punning tagline, "The only thing better than dressing is undressing."
Is undressing a salad dressing sexy? Or are you sexy because you're eating salad dressing with a shirtless man? And would't it be funnier if he thought dressing was better than undressing? Who cares, just shut up and look at the hot shirtless guy, ladies (and gents).
The ad has been running on, appropriately, Bravo where it crosses the network's demographics perfectly. Twitter responses have been decidedly positive.
A product of TBWA\CHIAT\DAY LA, the ad clearly owes something to Old Spice Guy and is just the latest in a long line of campaigns, by everyone from Dairy Queen to Edge shaving gel, to capture that certain "je ne sais wha?" absurdist grandeur that Old Spice tapped into in 2010.
It has been nearly three years since Old Spice Guy became a household name, and a case study campaign, and the final impact on Old Spice is still unknown. At first, P&G reported a 107 percent spike in sales. Then that increase was explained away by heavy coupon use. The brand's image has experienced a significant lift, which is what P&G certainly wanted.
Even if the Old Spice Guy's sarcasm and insincerity molds itself into real, permanent equity for the Old Spice brand, will the same Studly Do Right approach work for other brands? Men put Old Spice in sunshine-less places that could use a little irreverence. Salad dressing goes in your mouth. But then, maybe post-modern consumers are incapable of meaningful, emotional connections with brands anymore, in which case, I'm on a horse.