Viral review: Old Spice does Ice Bucket Challenge with a twist

Social video experts Be On review the latest viral from Old Spice

Viral review: Old Spice does Ice Bucket Challenge with a twist

Old Spice ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

One of the most successful awareness campaigns has taken over the internet. With video as its medium, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral with a capital ‘v’, with everyone from the man in the street to prominent public figures dousing themselves in freezing cold water.

So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many brands have decided to ride the wave of popularity, while contributing to the good cause, of course. A recent release by Old Spice is one of the few that stands out from the crowd, feeling like a natural part of the conversation while keeping its distinctive brand voice.

Isaiah Mustafa, the buff Old Spice man, took on the challenge but couldn’t deliver. Not for the lack of trying though, it just that his "perfectly toned man muscles violently reject cold water" - this is demonstrated through a ‘force-field’ special effect in the film. Despite his ‘inability’ to perform the challenge, the brand’s towel-clad muscle man has pledged to donate $1,000 for the cause (although his brand ambassador fee from P&G is probably slightly more than this!)

The ad not only generated a large number of social actions on Facebook and Twitter; it also encouraged many more to participate, as ‘one’ of his nominations was every man named John Johnson.

Apart from the water supernaturally avoiding the actor’s body, the video keeps to the simple style of those circulating on Facebook, with the actor speaking directly to camera and shot in portrait as if recorded on a mobile phone. This form of execution feels like the right choice for the brand’s involvement.  

What could be questioned however, is the lack of presence on the brand’s official YouTube channel, which makes it harder for the fans to share. Some admirers decided to take this step for the brand, with some YouTube posts of the ad reaching over a million views in less than a week. It seems like a bit of a loss for the brand in building their YouTube audience, but at the end of the day they delivered a great piece of content for a great cause.

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