NFP Embraces Viral Marketing, The Old Spice Way

The incredible success of Old Spice ‘The man your man could smell like’ advertising campaign has spilled over into the Not for Profit sector, with international aid organisation World Vision spoofing the ads.

World Vision has created its own version of the spicy television commercials, with CEO Tim Costello delivering an almost bare chested monologue to promote his organisation.

The Old Spice bodywash campaign, created by advertising company Wieden+Kennedy has taken the world by storm, becoming a viral sensation and winning a swag of advertising awards – including taking home the top award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

But the most interesting aspect for Not for Profit organisations is the way the campaign has been able to effectively use social media to drive it.

The YouTube video has been a huge success, with over 15 million views, and the campaign has broken new advertising ground by having the star of the commercials respond in-character to hundreds of users on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Reddit.

World Vision has been quick to learn the lessons from the Old Spice success, and their YouTube video has been watched over 25,000 times.

The feedback on the site shows the majority of viewers are impressed. YouTube user ABVAustralia says one has to appreciate a CEO that trusts his marketing team enough get on board bear chested and all.

World Vision Creative Director, Zane Kuramoto says social media is how people are communicating these days, sharing and commenting on ideas and issues, so its really important for Not for Profits to be involved in the space.

Kuramoto says social media presents a new challenge for World Vision, but the organisation decided this was an occasion where they needed to take risks to get their message out for on behalf of people at risk.

He says it’s a testament to Costello’s leadership style that he agreed to do the video, to come out of an auditing meeting and spend half an hour in a bathrobe in front of a camera. He says Costello is happy to make fun of himself for the greater good.

With nine glowingly positive comments for every negative, Kuramoto says its been a great success, and has shown that World Vision are just regular people.

On, Craig Reiss claims that the Old Spice campaign has changed the rules of social network marketing, and that small businesses can create their own similar campaigns by finding their own personalities within the organisation to become an online spokesman.

World Vision has done just that and has shown that Not for Profits can create a splash on social networks.

NFPs using social media can quickly create tailored content and communicate directly with their audiences with very little expense.

Another winner at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival was St John Ambulance, which took the gold award in the ‘Fundraising & Appeals’ category.

St John Ambulance has been awarded an ‘advertising Oscar’ for its recent UK press ads promoting the importance of first aid skills.

The awards recognise excellence, innovation and impact in advertising campaigns around the world.

Created by UK based advertising firm BBH London, the advertising campaign is the organisation's first for 15 years, and shows 5 common situations where first aid knowledge would have saved a preventable death.

The ads show images of deceased people, accompanied by messages from each person about how they assumed someone nearby would know the first aid needed to save their life.

Scott Jacobsen, director of marketing, communications and fundraising at St John Ambulance UK, told Civil Society UK that the brand proposition and creative BBH developed for St John Ambulance have totally repositioned the organisation and changed the way people think about first aid.

Watch World Vision's Tim Costello:

Compare the Old Spice ad at:


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