The Dove Body Wash for Men commercial was one of the most popular of the Super Bowl XLIV ads. But not long after, Old Spice introduced its own body wash for men and the commercial was so powerful, it went viral.
Lest you think body wash sales are miniscule, consider this: body wash is a $757 million market, and in 2009 surpassed bar soap sales.
Is there room for numerous competitors? Certainly, and we need to watch how each company lays out its strategy and continued messaging. But out of the gate – comparing Dove to Old Spice – I see a definite leader.
You know how much I love Dove. But this time around, my hat is tipped to Old Spice.
Watch each ad, then I’ll tell you why.
The Dove ad is creative and gets your attention. It uses a softer communication style, which would be fine if the ad was aimed at women. Instead it speaks directly to men, (especially at the end). It’s telling men that they deserve their own body wash, and that it’s time to “be comfortable in your own skin.” A feminine approach – one that will definitely work for some consumers (male and female). But it’s not talking to (or hitting the emotional buttons of) the major body wash consumer: women.
The Old Spice ad is not only creative (with a script that many people have memorized), it does something fascinating – it uses male communication style to speak directly to women. Short sentences. Copy that says, “Ladies, your man may not look like me, but he can smell like me. And that’s the next best thing.” And, as my partner Roy H. Williams says, the copy is written in the imperative voice, commanding viewers to buy Old Spice body wash. It speaks directly to heart and mind of the body wash consumer (not to mention the guy is pretty easy on the eyes, as well), especially the Sorceress.
It’s another example of how male communication style can be used effectively to grab market share with female consumers. And when women buy, men are sure to follow. Old Spice has been around forever (remember this ad?) – bravo for bringing an old-fashioned brand back to life.