Friday, March 11, 2011

Mind Share (Salience) - Surely you'd choose to harvest it?!

At last, a new and substantive reason to talk about the old spice ad.

Of course we love it. It's a great piece of advertising. Can you get hold of the product? Not so easy.

The Australian: Old Spice manufacturer (P&G) ignores a smellers' market

Apparently one can only buy the Old Spice deodorant stick in Australia - not the body washes and sprays. (Really? I'm sure I saw something big in a store with Old Spice branding. But that just shows how bad a consumer's - or my - memory might be for details) Coles appear interested but Proctor and Gamble are not planning to introduce the product. Fair enough - they need to make a business decision - but I can't help but think it's a bad decision.

Forget the 4p's - Prof Byron Sharp in the University of SA's Ehrenberg - Bass Institute has for years been talking about physical and mental availability as the two key ingredients for marketing success, and I think I agree. And P&G have both, if they want it. How much effort does it take to get Coles to want to list your product? And Coles say they want "Old Spice" products. How much energy does it take for people to even think of your brand (a term known as salience) when it's time to buy? And P&G have that - at the moment.

Fair enough - it may be a flash in the pan. The "Old Spice" hype may be over while the stock is still on the water, or the production hits full speed. But think of another brand that waited for decades with high salience and limitations on the product to buy:

1964. That's when Roald Dahl wrote the book. 1971 is when the film came out.

I only started to notice the brand in the late 90's, and believe me I paid a LOT of attention to what was in the Candy Category as a 10+ year old in the late 70s. The website says the brand was launched at the time of the movie, but I would argue not supported. But it's all worked OK for Nestle now, I suppose.


Languishing unsupported throughout the early 0's, a management buyout in 2008 and a relaunch in 2009 with a highly successful facebook competition harness a whole heap of the latent loyalty - or at least salience - that this brand had built with its very good avertising throughout the 90s.

So that's it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Old Spice range comes to town one day, once the stark reality appears. What a shame - I was going to buy it too next time around. And for nostalgia, hit me with a Samboy chip:


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