The Sun ‘Old Spices’ up with Page Three parody
As the 19th century eccentric Charles Caleb Colton wisely observed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For a brand’s marketing campaign to make such a cultural impact that other brands feel that they can begin to ape it rather than mock it is the sign of a job well done.
Not so long ago, Specsavers ran an advert which played on the famous ‘Lynx Effect‘ series, in which the male anti-hero blows his chances of success with a throng of scantily clad beauties by wearing unfashionable glasses. In this instance the reveal came at the end though the attentive viewer would have picked up much earlier that it wasn’t a genuine Lynx advert – if only they had been able to concentrate.
Undoubtably, one of the most celebrated campaigns of 2010 has been the Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ series that made a star of its frontman Isiah Mustafa and completely reframed perceptions of the brand. Though it appeared on TV in the US, the campaign went viral globally once it was posted online and became a pioneer when Mustafa responded to tweets from the public and celebrities alike.
Such was the effect of the campaign that it has inspired imitations of varying quality by a number of parties ranging from brands, TV shows and amateur filmmakers.
The most recent example to pass across Zeitgeist’s desk sees The Sun celebrate their 40th anniversary with model Rosie Jones extolling the many virtues of Page Three.
Having succeeded in turning Old Spice from a staid old mans brand to a cool, talked about brand P&G quickly (and wisely) dropped the campaign before it became boring and a parody of itself.
As such, new versions such as the Page Three example, act as ripples reminding the shared target audience of young males of the originals and the Old Spice brand.
So long as the imitations remain respectful and don’t favour competitors Old Spice remain ‘The Brand You Wish Your Brand Could Innovate Like’.