Beating the advertising sophomore jinx

22 Mar

You do an ad. It’s a huge success. You celebrate. The awards flow in the door; the client’s business is overrun.  You are chased down the street by drooling fans.

Fast-forward 6 months: time for another ad.

This is what separates a real advertising campaign from a good one-off execution.

Old Spice? I think they’ve struggled to follow-up well. There was curiosity around their whole one-take-no-CGI approach, but let’s face it: the newest spot is a disappointment.

If you can’t script the second spot when you’re writing the first, you probably don’t have a campaignable idea.

One business that got it absolutely right is Knorr Sidekicks. Their crying salt shaker idea is so huge, the follow-up, “Salty’s Missing!”, wrote itself.

I can tell you, the creative team for Knorr sleeps a lot better than the Old Spice team.

They wake up with pepper on their pillow of course.



16 Responses to “Beating the advertising sophomore jinx”

  1. andmerson March 22, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I love these ads! Just yesterday i showed a group of friends and then we ended up watching all the other versions on YouTube (evidence of a good campaign) Plus, they are even incorporating the campaign into their packaging and making a contest out of it- Way to go.

    I haven’t seen this one on TV but still oh so cute.

  2. Lynne DeCew March 22, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Great concept, beautiful execution, but I always feel sorry for poor little Salty and wish someone would just pick him up, shake him and make his day. I’m not sure that’s the emotional reaction Knorr was hoping for!

  3. dougbrowncreative March 22, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    > Thing is Andrea, the little guys have become popular fixtures on the dinner table too. It is a killer campaign in my books. DAMN I wish I’d done it.

    > Lynne this is not a surprising response. Whenever that ads runs I can hear this huge “AWWWwww” running through my neighbourhood. I believe it was exactly the reaction Knorr was hoping for. A huge collective female sympathy lament!

  4. asmaamethqal March 22, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    I fell in love with this campaign and my heart melted when I saw “Salty’s Missing” Ad yesterday for the 1st time!

    I really love this campaign because they get it and they were able to tight up all the elements including social media so smoothly.

    From a Facebook Page “Salty’s Life”:
    to Twitter:
    and YouTube:

  5. dougbrowncreative March 22, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks for supplying those links Asmaa. It is not a strategy in search of an idea. It’s just a big brilliant idea with amazing follow-through. The chicks love it. 🙂

  6. dianajwalter March 22, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I think this was a great campaign and it hit right on target with the female population (proof above) as they are most often the dinner-makers.

    The characters also bring personality to the brand and a reason for people to stay intrigued and engaged with the advertising wondering what Salt/Pep will do next. Though Old Spice created a personality there was no story created for us to tie the heart to… more like the libido and how long does a relationship like that really last?

    I should mention the ladies here are looking to get those salt and pepper shakers now!

  7. andmerson March 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    .. all we need to do is buy 3 of their products.

    Diana, Asmaa, that’s just one product for each of us. Then, we can share custody and of course alternate for the major holidays.

  8. dougbrowncreative March 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    > Interesting and tasteful reading of the situation Diana! The Old Spice ads don’t really tell a story other than “beyond reach”. Because ultimately he was saying “Your man could smell like me”, not “You can have me.”

    > Andrea, allow me please to play King Solomon here. Let’s cut the little guys up into thirds and you can all have a piece of both.

  9. Bertha March 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    This was my first ‘Salty’s Missing’ experience, and let me tell you, bloody
    genius. So very cute.

    Nice dad joke at the end Doug, I enjoyed that.

  10. dougbrowncreative March 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks a lot Bertha. Genius is the word I would use too. It’s not easy to be that cute without being cloying.

  11. andmerson March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Nooo Doug! I couldn;t do that to poor salty. Just give him to one good home.

    (i get him now right? Boo-ya Sunday school)

  12. dougbrowncreative March 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    OK Asmaa and Diana….Andrea’s good with you two splitting him down the middle!


  13. Andrew Hall March 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Off topic, but to Doug’s comment, “DAMN I wish I’d done it” with regard to Knorr ads, here is one of my favorite spots ever. I feel the exact same way about it.

    Taking you back to 2006:

    Someone’s doing a good job in the marketing department at Knorr!

  14. dougbrowncreative March 24, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    HA. Good one Andrew. I think every agency has done a variation of the beeped-out cuss word at some stage, but this one is really strategically sound. Having a woman voice it added to that too. Nice find.

  15. P. February 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    This is an offensive campaign. Using a missing child poster as the basis of their clever little missing ‘salty’ campaign. In Canada, ( I won’t speak for other nations) children have gone missing, murdered by pedophile/ serial killers. and this stupid campaign uses a missing child poster… am I really the only person who finds this offensive and disgusting?

  16. Doug Brown February 29, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Yes P. You appear to be the only one who wants to take this charming ad and make it offensive and disgusting. But as I often say, there will always be someone who finds your idea offensive, no matter what. Thanks for proving me right.

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