The Sincerest Form of Flattery

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Wieden+ Kennedy have been sitting in their Portland office blushing ever since the runaway success of their ‘Old Spice Man’ campaign.

I must admit I’ve never really been a fan of the commercials. I thought they were a little bit silly. I do, however, always appreciate a commercial with humor rooted in mocking the advertising pitchman.

I’ve tweeted on Old Spice copycats before.

Wieden+Kennedy Tweet Graphic 1
Wieden+Kennedy Tweet Graphic 2

To see the striking similarity, check out BBDO’s Orbitz—‘When you know. You know’ and Edge Shave Gel—‘Get Your Edge.’ (Sorry, I couldn’t find the agency that created this commercial. If you know, please share.)

I was actually starting to think the fad had passed. Then I saw a commercial from the new Dairy Queen campaign and realized this may only be the beginning.

For me, the comedic writing, verbal rhythm, visual quirkiness and videography that made Old Spice commercials standout became diluted in the copycats that followed. It’s like walking up to a group of friends and telling the same joke someone else told just seconds prior to your arrival.

While I actually like the DQ campaign slogan, ‘So good it’s riDQulous,’ I wish Grey NYC (and the DQ execs that signed-off on the campaign) had insisted on more originality in the creative execution. I know the agency is capable of creating an “‘Old Spice Man’ success story” instead of jumping on the bandwagon. Unlike Wieden+Kennedy, Grey should be sitting in their New York City office red-faced from embarrassment.