Spicing up social media - Macleans.ca

Spicing up social media

The manly man: Mustafa responded to viewers in a series of over 180 YouTube video ads

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Corporate America finally figured out social media. Over two days, beginning July 13, the team behind Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice body wash campaign churned out more than 180 YouTube videos in which a hunky, bare-chested actor named Isaiah Mustafa, playing the most manly man imaginable, responded in near real-time to consumer and celebrity comments posted on Twitter and Facebook.

The funny, personalized spots were spawned by a Super Bowl ad that aired earlier this year: Mustafa, shirtless, asks women to compare their men to him as nifty backdrops and camera trickery allow him to move from a shower stall, to a yacht, to horseback. From a marketing perspective, the YouTube spots are being hailed as a stroke of brilliance, costing a tiny fraction of the original TV ads and engaging an enthusiastic audience of tens of millions.

Not bad for a 72-year-old brand once associated with your father’s aftershave.