Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Epic Marriage Proposal media at its most collaborative

What I love to hear most about are new and inventive ways companies are coming up with in order to market their products across different platforms and to multiple audiences. Recently, I heard about a new trend in social media, marriage proposals, and came across an interesting story. One that really exemplifies the power social media can give to both a business and the public to establish a connection that goes further than the one way conversations of the past.

So what happens when you take an established corporate brand, add social media, and a zealous fan?

The short time line of the story goes something like this:

-->Old Spice creates a comedic ad series with an unknown actor, Isaiah Mustafa, which becomes a hit.
-->Old Spice also uses social media sites, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, to further develop the campaign.

-->A few months later, Old Spice launches the “Question Challenge”
-->One entrepreneurial love bird asks them to propose to his girlfriend in a video.
-->And they do!

-->She says yes!

-->They (the actor, the couple, and Old Spice) become the talk of the blogosphere together.

Now that is team work!

How this probably would have turned out in the past, without social media’s involvement:

-->Old Spice creates a comedic ad series with an unknown actor, which becomes a hit.

-->Old Spice then uses the momentum to propel the campaign further through other mediums

-->Possibly launches a much slower version of the “Question Challenge” through radio

-->They choose one question and air the spot at a special viewing time, completing the contest

Much more time and money would have been spent and the ad probably would have gained popularity much more slowly. The actor would have probably stayed unknown.

Congrats the all the parties involved for their success!

Great links for more details on the story:

NPR Article

Wikipedia Page


  1. Great post, Alex! It seems like social media is not only helping companies with marketing but also gives individuals new and innovative ways to interact (like your marriage proposal example). I don't know though, I feel like while it may be more creative, it's also much less personal.

  2. I'm not crazy about making a marriage proposal a marketing gimmick, for sure! But this is not the first time we've seen people trying to make marriage proposals "original" and things to make everyone talk about, stories to pass down to your grandkids, etc. But it is a good example of how far we can go in finding a new approach in SMM.

  3. Interesting.... Hmmmm..... Those Old Spice ads make me laugh because it seems they have figured out that young people don't trust brands and just want commercials to be self-referential, absurd and comical. I also saw a tampax ad with a woman who was saying things like "you are going to listen to me because I am racially ambiguous, beautiful and am wearing white pants" poking fun at feminine product ads. How Po-Mo!

  4. Although this ad is amusing it really exemplifies how "Social Media" is enabling people to use electronic communications for anything, there by avoiding all direct, face-to-face contact.

  5. Love the post! This is a great example of how consumers want relationships with companies to be so much more personal and interactive now. It isn't just about the products and services anymore, it's about the overall experience with an organization.