If you are from the US & watch TV or follow twitter, facebook and/or youtube closely to catch the fleeting memes as they unfold, you must have obviously noted the exalted buzz around the recent ad campaign to revive P&G’s Old Spice brand, first on TV and then on the aforementioned social media channels.
Its been a hugely successful PR/Marketing campaign and I hear it to have proven ROI too already! I will not get too much into the details of the campaign & what worked and if it can be replicated or not, etc. You can get those from other sites far better suited to the purpose than mine. (some links provided below). I did not get into the discussions initiated by Jacob Morgan either (who initiated me to Sushi when I was in SF in May 2010 & is an up & coming Gen Y dude in the Social CRM arena).
What prompted to post me this commentary on that awesomely brilliant & tough campaign (Imagine 200+ videos within 2 days, can you script it all? Or even act in those many short clips?) is the editorial pick by CustomerThink.com of a post by old colleague Harish Kotadia (and currently an independent consultant) claiming this to be the best ever Social CRM campaign.
I was intrigued & confounded. I believed that this ad campaign was a brilliant stroke of genius & hard work that leveraged the power of social media & networking sites to make a marketing campaign viral. I however did not think of the campaign as a holistic Social CRM campaign. Many people claimed that the brilliance was in the engagement that the campaigners had with the social media users (lets call them social customers here because they are social media users who are potential customers of Old Spice).
I am a huge proponent of businesses listening & engaging on social media (in addition to influencing, measuring, analysing) and this should have stoked me. But it put me into deeper confusions! So I asked on twitter:
“So the ad agency did the listening, corresponding, engaging act on behalf of @oldspice. Did P&G or its LOB engage w/ customers?“
To which good friend & star analyst exemplar Esteban Kolsky responded:
“why does it matter who did it? somebody did. customers got what they wanted / needed. outsourcing is not bad just because“And then added:
“however, that may just be the difference between SCRM and PR/Marketing efforts“
And thats exactly I had wanted to know from the cacophonous cognoscenti (again thanks to Esteban for this term, I think its brilliant!) that interacts on twitter, just to check if I was the lone person with those thoughts.
For me Social CRM is a step ahead (above?) Social Media Marketing (read this post for more) and SCRM entails the involvement the whole organization, not just Marketing/PR. The feedback loop did not encroach much within the organization (check out Esteban’s experience continuum).
So when its merely the Marketing/PR that listens & engages on the social media, for me, its just the mouth piece talking. Its not a visceral response. How many other departments within the Old Spice brand/LOB (whatever they call it) of P&G get involved in this? The campaign itself was scripted & executed by an ad agency Wieden & Kennedy.
Another friend, ex analyst, currently head of social channel at huge PR agency, Natalie Petouhoff said that the campaign made big ROI & why would I not consider it Social CRM? To which I responded “high ROI for the company & flash in the pan entertainment for the customers.”
Meaning, that there is nothing with a staying power in it for either the organization or the customers. Its something that kick started the brand again for Old Spice and brought it back into the current psyche of the social customer. And thats a great thing to do!
Did this campaign in any way lend to autopoiesis between the externally & internally facing teams of Old Spice &/or P&G?
So, end of long rant & bottom line: IMHO, this is an example of a brilliant social media marketing campaign, just not social CRM.