The marketing world is all a-Twitter about the latest social media extension of the now very famous Old Spice ads (original one here, newest one here). These two ads have received more than 20 million views combined on YouTube, and the ad agency’s team extended it beyond a commercial is as masterful as the original commercials’ production.
In case you haven’t heard, the creative team created a series of short videos where the star of the commercial responded directly to comments on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.
I won’t go into the details of the campaign here, for there are plenty of analyses elsewhere. But one key detail that is not getting enough attention is how the group seeded it, as revealed in this great interview with the creative team. They didn’t start on Facebook or Twitter. They started on Digg and Reddit, two of the most popular social bookmarking sites. Many people forget (or weren’t even thinking about social media), but before Twitter and Facebook, there was Digg and Reddit, and they were both highly influential communities. It might seem easy to forget about them, with the mainstream media attention being lavished on larger sites, but the Old Spice campaign shows that they can still be an amazing source of traffic.
That said, the Old Spice people knew their audience. They knew that Digg users are fanatical, and would be thrilled to see the pop culture icon wishing Digg founder Kevin Rose get better (he’s been sick).
I get asked a lot what is the value of using social bookmarking sites. Like any other social network, you have to invest time and energy to realize any benefit. That means engaging with people in the network, and in the case of social bookmarking sites, that means not just bookmarking your own content, but sharing content that is interesting and contributes to the community. It also means commenting on other content posted on the site and interacting with people. And unless you’re offering up some pop culture gems, don’t expect your blog post on the theory of fundraising for non-profits in rural Canada to make it to the front page.