The Deconstructed Brief
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Invisible World

Invisible World

Brand: Old Spice

AgencyWieden+Kennedy Portland

Challenge

Who needs another deodorant spray? Old Spice wanted its Invisible Spray to stand out among the dozens of new personal hygiene products aimed at young men. To be fair, Old Spice helped create that clutter through years of spots loaded with insane special effects, like this one.

One Thought:

Imagine the invisible.

 

Rationale:

You can’t tell young men what to do. (Remember the Swim Reaper? http://bit.ly/2wFRL4B) Old Spice created a 147-minute “invisible” movie you can’t see and dared people to watch. The movie is literally a blank screen, except for the opening and end credits. “Invisible World” plays like a terrible fictional podcast about an alien invasion.

Some of the dialogue was provided by fans who “auditioned” on Twitter. Their lines were spliced in throughout the movie

It’s extreme. It’s outrageous. And it’s an endurance test with bragging rights if you finish it.

(No, we have not watched all of it. But the end credits are pretty funny. They start at 1:57.)

Lessons to be learned:

  • Play with skepticism “Invisible World” plays with the marketing skepticism of young men by letting the audience know it’s in on the joke. The whole premise is a warped mirror idea for marketing an “invisible” product. The dialogue is bad. The production is shoddy. (Anyone who watches Adult Swim, the top TV network for men under 30, will be familiar with the tone. 
  • Surprise your audience —  Lots of agencies talk about wanting to surprise, but how many would go as far as creating a two-hour plus movie that’s a mostly blank screen? Yes, it’s a stunt, but it grabs your attention. And it speaks directly to a demographic that values standing out.
  • Engage your fans — Lots of brands have used fan content to create ads. But not many have used Twitter to cast fans in a movie. The length of the movie forced fans to comb through the dialogue to find their part. Old Spice included Twitter handles in the credits for extra bragging rights.

How Old Spice Described the Project on YouTube:

“Imagine that a deodorant brand were brave enough, crazy enough, to run with an idea as irresponsible and foolhardy as financing a full-length invisible movie that you can’t actually see. Now imagine what that would look like. Now stop imagining, because it’s happening. Wait, sorry, keep imagining — because there’s nothing to see.”