If advertising’s goal is to be remembered, this new campaign by Old Spice succeeds. Loudly. Visually. Explosively. Will it result in more sales?It already has — about 30 percent over a five-year window. Attention is step one. Purchase is step two. Word of mouth is step three.
Having worked both as a print journalist early in my career and later in marketing at tier-one global golf brands (TaylorMade and adidas), I’m fascinated by the Tiger Woods story. Not the salacious details of his liaisons with who knows how many women now set to cash in. That’s too easy. Like rubbernecking on the highway. Just another iconic fall from grace. Expected mea culpa being strategized by his handlers as I type this. Lowest common denominator celebrity “news” that has zero true bearing on the world — other than his and his family’s.
No, the fascination with this cautionary tale is how consumers will respond. Nike Golf was built on Tiger’s back. It was nothing, zero, nada in 1996. Then the words “Hello World” from Tigers lips launched the start of what is approaching a $1B golf business for Nike. Tiger’s lent his name, face and image to countless other brands to give them more prestige, more power, more visibility.
I, for one, can’t wait for the end of January when Tiger normally makes his beloved return to Torrey Pines in San Diego to play in the Buick Invitational. It’s the same site where he won the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff to a journeyman guy known as Rocco Mediate. It might make for the perfect stage upon which to ask forgiveness from a primary audience of men. Or it might be the first tournament he “skips” for reasons we all know. It’s not easy anymore being Tiger. The brand just became more human.
NASCAR has them in the drivers’ cockpits. MLB has them dug into the ground in front of home plate. The NFL has had them in players’ helmets.
In sport, cameras give us a view we’d otherwise never see (unless on the field of play or going 200+ mph in the race car).
Here’s where the next camera advancement needs to happen: In the head tubes of professional cyclists’ race bikes. Not the superstars, mind you. They would likely rail at any aerodynamic effects. During a bunch sprint, riders are going over 40 mph within centimeters of each other, not just inches. Flying elbows, crossed wheels and crashes at this speed while riders are protected only by a helmet, half gloves and lycra makes for spectacular viewing.
Why not give fans worldwide (especially in Europe) a close-up incredible view that would bring a whole new dimension to the sport and how it is covered and televised? I would allow such a move in a heartbeat if running the UCI. Now is a good time (with Lance Armstrong back racing) to re-ignite passions and recruit new fans. Mini cameras embedded in the head tubes of a few bikes in the peloton would give new meaning to performance enhancement.
Bike races are performance as much as they are sport. Let’s enhance them any way we can without betraying athletic accomplishment.