What Would David Ogilvy Do?
"If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative."
"I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information."
"Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image."
"Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn't sell much of anything."
These four quotes from advertising legend David Ogilvy formed the basis of Johnathan Salem Baskin's opening keynote at the first InterACT! Conference. Baskin, a global brand strategist and author of "Branding Only Works on Cattle" and "Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs," titled his presentation "David Ogilvy's Revenge: The Return of Marketing Realism." His premise? He isn't buying social media for social media's sake, and only recommends it if it's being used as a means to an end.
Baskin's first victim was Old Spice, and its "Smell Like a Man" ad campaign on YouTube that was all the rage earlier this summer.
Old Spice made history with the campaign, dominating YouTube for the week ending July 23 with eight of the 11 most-watched videos, racking up tens of millions of views. The campaign, in which its spokesmodel quickly shot mostly unscripted and hilariously funny replies to nearly 200 online inquiries (including some from famous people), prompted numerous copycat videos and got covered by just about every news outlet in America.
Baskin wasn't impressed. "Sure, this was fun, grabs everybody's attention, and probably made Old Spice's agency, Wieden + Kennedy, very excited," he said. "But what happens now? The half-life of viral fame is short. There have been numerous top 10 lists on YouTube since then. The campaign was wildly creative, but what was the point?"
While some attendees in the audience disagreed — one attendee said sales were up 100 percent after the YouTube clips were posted — Baskin still stuck to his guns.