The Value Of Viral

Does your man look like me?

With that question the Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice man, launched himself into history by becoming the spokesperson for the all-time most-viewed sponsored channel on YouTube with 94 million views. Which is even more amazing when you consider that he looks just like me. Only I’m paler…and older..and not as fit…and I can’t ride a horse.

Old Spice also had eight of the top 11 most-popular videos on YouTube on July 16. In the six days following the start of Mr. Mustafa’s personalized videos, he reached more than 100 million followers.

The effort sent Old Spice to more than 80,000 Twitter followers (finally ahead of Mr. Mustafa’s own follower base of 30,000) and its Facebook fan base to 630,000. Facebook fan interaction jumped 800% since the launch of the personalized videos.

The ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, is well known for its creativity, and this isn’t the only home run they’ve slammed, but they obviously know how to engage people with creative content. They also did the Coke “happiness” video with a vending machine that seemed to be inhabited by real people. In a world where everyone likes to quote that, “Content is king,” they deliver on it instead of just talking about it.

The Wieden & Kennedy offices in Portland are designed for creativity, from basketball courts to an open, collaborative design. Clear Channel wouldn’t get it, and the Dickey’s would hate it. They’d cut the office design and the people who create, just to make the bottom line look better. But the Wieden & Kennedy people have another idea – product highly creative, innovative content, and put it into a channel where people gather, and you’ll make enough money to make the bottom line look better.

If I had to choose which option would take me into the future, I’d choose creativity and innovation. Whenever creativity meets shareholder value, creativity wins. When you have a company of people who understand that, you’re unstoppable.