If you’ve been on Twitter at all today, you’ve likely seen people tweeting about Old Spice’s YouTube videos of Isaiah Mustafa (the guy from the hilarious “I’m on a horse” commercials) responding to comments from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here’s a sample (warning, if you watch one, you’ll probably be hooked for a couple of hours):
This is an incredibly amazing use of social tools in conjunction with traditional advertising. By having their popular commercial character personally address individuals, Old Spice has created a ton of buzz and helped deepen individuals’ connection to the brand – even those of us who haven’t been personally named (yet) by Mr. Mustafa.
Additionally, this highlights two key marketing benefits afforded by social media tools: immediacy and cost-effectiveness.
By responding mere moments after a comment, Old Spice is fostering a conversation – albeit a short, shallow one. I can see other companies benefiting from a similar model. Perhaps a community manager could respond to questions following a product announcement. Maybe a PR rep could respond to media and community inquiries following a major oil spill (just an example). An HR rep could respond to questions from their employees about a new policy. Or maybe a local band could take song requests from fans in near-real time.
And the cost to do this? Time and a camcorder. That’s it. Having a YouTube channel is free. There’s no cost to upload videos. No cost to share the links via Twitter and Facebook. And no additional expense if your video just happens to get passed around the Internet and viewed by more than three people who originally saw the link.
I don’t want to pretend that there aren’t any pitfalls with this approach. Or that your clever video “chat” will take the Internet by storm – the guys writing Mustafa’s responses are wickedly creative and hilarious. But if you can figure out a way to quickly, creatively and personally respond to your audience, I think it will be time well-spent.
So, kudos Old Spice. Job well done.