Instant, personal, social and creative on a horse

It was only a year ago that most ad agencies turned their noses up at the mere mention of Twitter. (The comments are gone now, but half of them were beyond harsh.) It was only a year ago that most social media agencies went around declaring that traditional ad agencies just didn’t get it.  It was only a year ago that advertising creative teams would scream bloody murder if you expected them to generate creative within a couple of days, never mind hours or even minutes.

Well, things change quickly on the Internet.

Today, ad agencies are scrambling to catch up on what Twitter’s all about. Even some of the old guys are showing up.

The social media “gurus” are pulling their feet out of their collective mouths as ad agencies start to raise the SoMe content bar.

And those writer/art director teams that used to whine about shorter timetables? They’re disappearing as quickly as those tweets you saw in your morning stream.

And if they’re not, they will be after today as the Old Spice campaign running on Twitter and YouTube reminds us that everyone was wrong.

The ads that even the anti-advertising crowd loves have harnessed the speed of Twitter and YouTube and combined it with the personal interaction allowed by both to produce a bunch of new spots that speak directly to individuals, responding to their Twitter posts, comments on Reddit , and ramblings on YouTube itself.

If the videos were genuinely being produced in real time, they’re brilliant. And even the whole thing was preplanned, with incoming Tweets and scripts prepared in advance, well the illusion is great. (Hope I don’t sound like a cynic; I want to believe it’s the former.)

I haven’t contacted or spoken with anyone at Weiden and Kennedy, the agency behind the Old Spice idea, but clearly they have just gone out and done what is likely to be labeled one of the best examples of “the new integration.”

Ingredients: big, clever brand idea; social presence that realizes content is as important as the product it represents; opportunity for consumers to participate; responsive, real-time engagement (including faux pas and obvious glances at the script); and a built-in ability to share.

Of course having the formula doesn’t mean you can replicate it. That requires more than free platforms and a branded Twitter account and YouTube channel.  It takes talent.

Congratulations to all for a very cool and amusing idea. F@&*. Wish we’d thought of something like this first.

Relate posts:

ReadWriteWeb on how the videos were produced.

AdWeek on Old Spice ruling the web.

Even the New York Daily News