- Old Spice, the line of male grooming products by Procter & Gamble, is rolling out "the world's most ridiculously long-lasting white elephant game" on Instagram, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- White elephant games, a holiday staple for many, involve swapping silly or impractical gifts, with the opportunity to steal other participants' presents. Entrants to Old Spice's spin on the concept are eligible to win a man cave valued at $13,000 that includes a custom Old Spice billiards table, flat-screen TV, branded merchandise and other items, the company said.
- Users can go to Old Spice's Instagram to play the game for free for themselves or swap with a friend to access prizes in a digital chain. The social media-minded activation shows the brand trying to cater to homebound audiences who are navigating an unusual holiday period where many won't be able to see friends and family.
Old Spice is looking to translate the popular white elephant gift swap to social media as the holiday activity, typically conducted in-person at parties, is waylaid by the coronavirus pandemic. The P&G marketer is taking an ambitious approach in trying to make its mobile-minded take on the game the longest-lasting to date, rolling out the social media activation well ahead of the actual holiday period and offering a pricey, decked-out man cave to the grand prize winner.
Starting today, Instagram users will see promotions for the game start to appear on Old Spice's owned media pages and through influencer partners. They can swipe up on the brand's Stories to access a special landing page that hosts the white elephant, which offers a digital scratch-off revealing whether they've won a prize. When players enter their email address, they redeem a gift that they can either steal or swap for another. In either case, users can be directed to Walmart.com to buy Old Special's holiday packs, extending the brand's work with the big-box retailer.
The man cave concept — essentially a private den where men can engage their hobbies — might resonate more with Old Spice's target audience of young male consumers as people face new lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic and are bound to be spending more time inside anyway with the colder winter months. Given the stress of the COVID-19 health crisis keeping people apart, Old Spice ultimately wanted to give consumers a fun approach to seasonal marketing, the company said. The brand at the same time is promoting its new Bearglove and Krakengard deodorant holders.
Over the summer, Old Spice launched another lighthearted campaign to highlight its men's hair styling products that enhance grown-out hair — a play on the fact that consumers have delayed trips to the barbershop or hair salon during the quarantine period. Despite the stress of the pandemic, there are signs that consumers want more easygoing content from marketers. Research from Magid and Mitto suggests that consumers don't want ads that focus too much on the coronavirus pandemic, and Gen Z is particularly open to efforts that instead center on fun.
The white elephant campaigns comes as P&G has received a sustained business windfall from the pandemic. The packaged goods giant's sales grew by 9% year-on-year to $19.3 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2021. E-commerce sales — which will be critical for the holidays this year — increased roughly 50% over the Q1 period and have grown to represent "probably 11% to 12%" of total sales, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said discussing the results with analysts in October.