Aug. 29th, 2013

Measuring the Man in Manvertising.

Have y’all seen these recent ads for Sauza? Hmm. Hunky guy with muscles narrating against a kitschy backdrop. Wait, I’ve seen this before! It’s gotta be good, right?

Sauza Tequila, “The Refreshing Lifeguard” (2013) – 670,000 views

Hey! That wasn’t the least bit entertaining. Thanks for making my minute of procrastination totally not worth it.

Sorry – we’re making a point. Ever since W+K’s Old Spice campaign broke the YouTubes with 46 million views, it seems like everyone in the hemisphere has tried to replicate its success. Of course, male ad icons are nothing new, having been a marketing staple since the days of the Marlboro Man and the Brawny lumberjack. (Btw, have you seen Brawny boy’s 21st century makeover? Eesh. Someone should let him know mustaches are in again.)

We’re not disparaging the choice to anchor a campaign around a manly man. But if you’re going to use a century-old archetype, you’ve got to meet or exceed what’s been done before. The recent spate of male-driven ads has made it easy to note who does it well, and who doesn’t. May we present another half-assed attempt:

Kraft, “The Zesty Guy” (2013) – 630,000 views

(Actor look familiar? I wonder if it’s because he’s the SAME EXACT DUDE as Señor Sauza. Are laziness and creativity inversely proportionate?)

Ick. Granted, Kraft and Sauza were talking to a female audience, not male, but that doesn’t excuse their failure to create a magnetic persona. Simply using a popular archetype does not a strong ad make. Now let’s look at what a great male character should be.

Dos Equis, “The Most Interesting Man in the World” (2007) – 2 million views

This delightful campaign preceded Old Spice, and has survived for six years and counting. All thanks to tight writing, great casting, and an idea with a million legs. Bien hecho, Euro RSCG. And now for our sleeper hit:

Dollar Shave Club, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” (2012) – 11 million views

To think, CEO Michael Dubin was a nobody (does that mean we’re all nobodies?) who learned comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. Though the filming style and absurd tone smelled sharply of Old Spice, these guys did a bang up job making the style their own. Did you see their second video by the way? Not as good, but it doesn’t stink.

All we’re sayin’ is, if you’re gonna do Manvertising, do it right. If you’re not confident you can, why not try something entirely different?

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