Fabio on a piano will sell this deodorant

Last week, one of my social media classes talked about the concept of “going viral.”  One of the best examples was all about this guy:

No doubt, a very successful ad campaign that completely exploded on YouTube.  It’s funny and memorable and has made a star out of Isaiah Mustafa (aka the man your man could smell like).  There’s no way Old Spice can reach this level of viral success again; they also have to retire this ad campaign before it outlasts its welcome and becomes a failed TV sitcom.

In that spirit…there’s this now:

I’m left with the feeling of “is this real life?” I can’t tell if it’s going to be a successful campaign or not, but the comments suggest no one was begging for a new Old Spice guy.  Still, I spent the past ten minutes Googling Old Spice, and I still kind of can’t get over the way Fabio says “Old spices.”  Or, you know, anything.

Fabio modeling for the cover of his own book

Also, I once caught my 79-year-old office mate reading this book. Note Fabio is the author AND the cover model.

What do you think?  Is this the definition of trying to hard?  Is it funny anyway?  How old is Fabio and does he even have a last name?

Target Market

“I made a trip to Target and spent a ton of money on “stuff” and I literally can’t tell you what cost so much–the Velveeta? The shower curtain? Before you knew it, I spent $80.” – My friend Sabrina

I go to Target about once a week, for just about everything.  Food, clothes, apartment necessities, entertainment.  Where else can you get batteries, balloons, bike helmets and blueberries all at once?

Target Logo

It calls to me.

Actually…as it turns out…lots of places.  Some of them closer to where I live, or cheaper.  But just like my coffee loyalties lie with Caribou, Target is the only “modern general store” for me.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I live in Minnesota — even though it’s a large corporation, Target is still a huge part of our local economy, as the cover story from this month’s Minnesota Business points out.  Another part has to do with the stellar brand image.  You know the one I mean.

Rookie of the Year DVD

Worth it.

What gets me more is the marketing within the store.  I can go in and aim for one thing (for instance: a black cardigan) and come out an hour later with a whole bunch of totally different things (for instance: three sets of curtains, four wash cloths, a double feature DVD of The Sandlot and Rookie of the Year, and a three pound bag of Laffy Taffy.).  The signs, sales, and artwork always lead me astray from my original path.

In that way, Target is like the internet: you go online to look for one thing, and a dozen other things pop up or catch your interest instead.  Did you manage to get through this whole blog post without clicking on one of the hyperlinks?  Have you ever walked into a Target store and come out with only the things on your list?  How do you do that?

Won’t get fooled again

When I was young, my parents got me a subscription to the magazine Zillions: Consumer Reports for Kids.  It was a lot like the adult version — various products were put through tests to see if they lived up to expectations — except all the products were for kids, and some of the testers were kids.  I don’t know why my parents got me this; maybe to hint that in the future I would be making my own Barbie purchases and should try to be better informed about the competition?  Anyway, I remember almost nothing about the toy comparisons — and almost everything about the other main feature of Zillions: exposing the trickery of advertisements.

Most impressive to me were the food ads.  Even a kid knows the picture of a Whopper on a Burger King commercial is nothing like the real thing — but it wasn’t until I read Zillions that I understood why, and I found the deceit mind-blowing.  Fake food? Vaseline? Sandwiches propped up by toothpicks and covered in glue?  Speaking of glue, that’s not milk in those Apple Jacks.  Every time I saw an ad with a “scam” I recognized, I pointed it out to my family members lest they be duped.  This went on for at least a year; surprisingly, my parents did not renew my subscription.

Today, I spend a lot more time complaining about the trickery of online spam and scams than pictures of too-perfect hamburgers.  Almost everyone knows that there is no such thing as a “miracle product;” advertisers have had to turn to other means to get our attention — celebrity endorsements, humor, social media, etc.  I like to think we’re all a little more discerning, even those of us who weren’t raised on Zillions.

Then again, this remains my favorite commercial of all time.  And my running shoes are Nikes.