Old Spice Wants to Help You Play

An article on Adweek.com today covered a new Old Spice effort targeting young men, specifically gamers. As marketers we are always looking at new ways to reach and engage various demographics and more recently the importance of the authenticity/credibility of that engagement has come to the forefront. Old Spice, a 70 year old brand, is aiming to gain credibility with gamers through an online effort supporting the time honored spirit of friendly competition. Partnering with 360voice.com, a popular Xbox Live Gamerscore site (tracks online gaming achievements), Old Spice created the Old Spice Experience Challenge.

The program lets users dictate the terms of their own online gaming challenges and then invite their friends to participate. The more people users have in their challenge and the longer the duration, the better the prizing they have access to. Basically Old Spice is facilitating a more exciting and competitive gaming experience and supplying a prize pool.

While the initial Experience Challenge earlier this year had terms dictated by the brand, they learned a better connection with more gamers could be achieved by putting the control in the hands of gamers themselves. While consumer control certainly isn’t new and has been grabbing headlines for a few years, consumer control of the promotion itself is fairly creative. And, thus far, gamers are responding.

Only 8 days into the program, they have had 1,760 participants and over almost 500 challenges have been completed, are active or are pending. While these certainly aren’t mind boggling numbers, these core gamers are a fairly niche group which are hard to reach and even harder to engage. These types of programs allow brand exposure on their terms which pays off in the long run.

As we look toward the future and at the brands we manage, its interesting to think about creating programs which help our target audiences better enjoy the activities that are their passions. How do we create branded tools for the betterment of their lives? Do we have credibility to do so or how do we gain it?