Close-Up: My YouTube ad of the week

Brand: Old Spice.

Task: Refresh Old Spice's image by weaving the brand into social media.

Execution: The starting point was the Cannes 2010 Grand Prix award-winning "the man your man could smell like" TV ad. From there, Wieden & Kennedy used YouTube and Twitter to create more than 100 video replies, plus a barrage of Tweets."We brought a character to life using the social channels we all use every day," Iain Tait, the global interactive creative director at W&K, said.

Credits: Wieden & Kennedy Portland.

George Nimeh, Digital director, Iris Worldwide

Why I like this: It's innovative because no-one has successfully created real-time video like this. It's clever because W&K replied to both unknown and popular people. The ad's star, Isaiah Mustafa, flirted with Alyssa Milano and teased Starbucks. He talked to Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. He took on the geeks at Gizmodo and Reddit. But he also replied to random people, such as the marriage proposal he made on behalf of one of his Twitter followers. She accepted.

W&K mitigated the risk of backlash by carefully selecting who to respond to, but weren't afraid to be edgy and funny. In total, more than 110 replies were filmed, each taking less than ten minutes to make. You have to give a "brave client" badge to Old Spice's parent company, Procter & Gamble, for allowing Tait's team to work in real time with little-to-no supervision.

Wish I'd thought of: The real-time video replies are pure genius. Each one is interesting, but taken together you appreciate the effort that's gone into creating something spectacular. It is cross-media advertising and it's social. It will inspire lots of other ideas.


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