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The Business of Attention

This campaign by Old Spice, probably the greatest ad campaign ever, single-handedly shaped how I developed my business. Don’t be in the video production business. Be in the attention business.

Here is the

I am not in the video business. Yes I make videos. Yes they’re good. Yes I love making them. Yes they are always fun to watch. But videos are not the business. I am in the attention business.

Attention is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, commodities out there right now. If you are selling products or services to customers or businesses you’re gonna need people’s attention. It’s plain and simple. It’s the truth. That’s it.

If you’ve heard of Old Spice products you’ve probably seen them dominating the aisles at Walmart or whatever store you go to to buy your you know hygiene products. Old Spice was founded in 1937 and their original demographic was women. I know, weird right?

Then in 1990 they were sold to Procter and Gamble and the people who were buying their products at that time were mostly old dudes and they’re older women, wives, Etc.

Younger people were paying them no attention at all. I mean the word ‘old’ was literally in the brand name, so yeah, like, no one was paying attention. To make matters worse a lot of new products were showing up on the men’s hygiene aisle. A lot of new brands trying to squeeze their way into the Shelf space and Old Spice was kind of being pushed aside, just squeezed out becoming more and more obsolete. 

Old Spice had a big problem. If they didn’t get young men to buy Old Spice products they were done. Game over man. At this point no one was saying that old spice needed videos. Their problem was that they couldn’t get the attention of the dudes that they needed to buy their product and to keep them in business and so they were slowly cratering.

So by the end of the 90s Old Spice decides to throw one last kind of Hail Mary. They hired a new advertising company, Wyden and Kennedy, and they hired them to completely overhaul the marketing image of the Old Spice brand. Rather than just churn out a bunch of new videos aimed at men like all the other companies were doing – aimed at sex appeal and men – Widen & Kennedy had a different idea. And it’s because they discovered that 60% of the people buying Men’s Grooming products were in fact women.

So they decided to get the attention of these women and they came up with this commercial. (see video)

Good looking dude. Funny, interesting, unexpected, super memorable.

And aimed at women. You’re probably not even listening to me right now because you’re too busy looking at this amazing commercial…

And how did they Premiere this video? Did they spend a fortune and put it on the Super Bowl? Did theyplaster it all over the TV commercials? No. They posted it on social media which was new at the time, and YouTube, because they figured out that that is where all these younger women were hanging out.

By day three over 20 million views which was enormous back then. Within one month old spice was the number one most viewed brand on YouTube. All of YouTube. Within two months old spice’s sales had gone up a hundred and thirty percent.

Did this video save Old Spice? No. And yes. When you create a video that can successfully grab the attention of your target audience that you need to reach you can win and win big. So no, your business does not need just a bunch of videos. Just because you throw a bunch of money at video productions doesn’t mean it’s going to solve your problem. A lot of videos don’t even work. 

Case in point. The company Dove which also made Men’s Grooming products also came out with a campaign that year and they posted their ad in the Super Bowl paying a fortune to

do it and nobody remembers it at all.

Couldn’t tell you what it was.

So I didn’t set out to make a video production company. I founded Hello Coco to create content that grabs attention. That’s the goal. We make ads and social media spots. We make content for entertainment companies. We do product and marketing photography and materials. But the goal is always the same; grab attention and keep it. That’s it. That’s the whole game plan. It’s good for you, it’s good for your business, it’s good for me; everybody wins. We’re all happy.

So if your business could use a little attention I’d love to talk with you.

I’m out.

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