- Old Spice's latest print ad in GQ magazine features an adult-sized paper blazer scented with the Procter & Gamble brand's new line of fragrances for men, according to Adweek. Once readers open the page in the magazine, they can remove and sport the folded, disposable blazer emblazoned with the brand logo and "live the luxurious life of Old Spice Captain."
- The campaign developed by Wieden + Kennedy aims to promote the new Red Collection and continue the brand's larger effort to poke fun at traditional fragrance marketing. Brand director Janine Miletic told Adweek that by using humor and parodies, Old Spice attempts to show that quality scents don't need to be expensive or come in fancy packaging.
- The brand aired a 60-second spot during the Grammy Awards in January to promote the same scent. The commercial was entirely in French, with no subtitles, to ramp up conversation.
Old Spice is no newcomer to quirky marketing tactics, but the paper blazer may be its most unique stunt yet. The goal here is clearly to stir up some earned media as the blazer surprises GQ readers, a seemingly clever way to use print advertising to spark chatter online.
The ad in GQ also highlights how marketers are looking for inventive ways to create intriguing experiences for consumers who are growing increasingly ad-blind to traditional marketing efforts. While many are shifting their budgets to digital campaigns, some, like Old Spice, are taking a new spin on a traditional ad format with interactive print ads. Toyota recently used an interactive foldout ad to promote its 2018 Camry in InStyle magazine that included a heart rate simulator with built-in sensors and LED lights. Earlier this year, Ikea launched a print ad campaign for baby cribs that included a pregnancy test, using special paper and the tagline "peeing on this ad may change your life." For those that were pregnant, a special discount appeared on the paper after a few seconds.
Interactive print ads can be costly for marketers to produce, despite their potential to generate large returns in earned media and brand awareness. On the flip side, these types of ads can be a new revenue source for print magazines, which have seen declining ad revenues over the past few years. Ad sales for print magazines were projected to drop 13% in 2017 and continue to decline in 2018, per Magna data cited in The New York Times.
The blazer ad is the latest example of how Old Spice has been cleverly leveraging humor to smash traditional advertising tropes and give consumers enough of a chuckle to remain a top-of-mind men's fragrance brand. Along with its highly dramatic, all-French TV commercial that mocked the glamorous ads of high-end fragrances, Old Spice previously wove humor into its holiday marketing push with an hour-long video of a static shot of a fireplace with a continuously exploding Yule log.