Old Spice and its ‘Muscle Music’ Go Viral.

Author DEREK GORDON is a marketing and sales exec with more than 20 years success in integrated marketing and sales strategy and management.

Thanks to the genius minds at Wieden + Kennedy, Old Spice has a new viral marketing campaign that is, well, genius. After only about a week, a new interactive video scheme has already garnered millions of views and those are growing fast.

At the center of the new campaign is a video hosted by Vimeo featuring former NFL player and action movie star Terry Crews, who somehow manages to play ridiculous jams on surrounding percussion instruments merely by flexing his bulging muscles. Throughout, he shouts out bizarre statements, apropos of nothing in particular, like “give me a hat!” and “sausages!”

Called Muscle Music, the video is sure to tickle the fancy of Old Spice’s young male target market. Following on the wildly successful W+K 2010 campaign for Old Spice featuring a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa, which pretty much changed the social media marketing game for consumer marketers, this new campaign seeks to unseat the current champ in the category, Axe Body Sprays, which also targets young men under 30. In a bid to replicate the viral knock-offs of the original Mustafa campaign, viewers are invited at the end of the video to create a track of their own using a QWERTY keyboard — and, of course, to share that creation with the viewer’s social graph.

Vimeo has done an amazing job helping the W+K team pull together interactive / viral piece of the campaign — it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before and has all the elements of being a hit on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and beyond.  According to folks at Vimeo, it wasn’t easy:

Wieden came to Vimeo back in June, and together they worked with the visual effects shop The Mill to produce the spot. Asked why Wieden selected Vimeo over other video platforms, Abby Morgan, their Senior Manager of Strategic Sales Partnerships, explains, “I think it was because we were willing to work with them throughout the entire process of ideation, creation, production … because we were willing to take the journey and step into the trenches with the creative process.” In addition to the live video recording of Crews, the video is a composite of over 150 different elements. While the Flash player runs through the music video, it loads the interactive portion, which is “effectively a new player.” The real triumph, Morgan says, was figuring out how to speed up the server-side compositing of 150 moving parts so that users could record and save their own Muscle Music videos. The process they came up with is surprisingly fast; watch the progress bar load and it just gleefully declares “COMPUTER STUFF HAPPENING!”

Old Spice has successfully updated an old fashion brand by deeply understanding what makes its target market tick and by regularly tickling its collective fancy. That they do it without resorting to fart jokes or some other predictable device, and instead rely on intelligent and genuinely funny sight gags, show that they not only understand their target market, they respect them, too.  That, too is genius. 

Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.

Author DEREK GORDON is a marketing and sales exec with more than 20 years success in integrated marketing and sales strategy and management. He is the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Pathbrite. You can also check out his blog, Daily Casserole.

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