Why Cisco’s Old Spice copycat campaign failed

Cisco tried to cash in on the viral succes the Old Spice Guy campaign had lately. Instead of using a hot guy they used dorky Ted from Accounting.

According to Doug Webster of the Cisco Service Provider Marketing Team, they were so ‘so impressed with Old Spice’s social media project’ they thought it would be a great way to show the ‘awesome power ‘ of one of their routers. I like the sarcasm in the video, but still the entire campaign just didn’t do it for me.

FAIL #1: Who the heck is Ted from Accounting?

Well, that’s exactly what I thought when I first saw the campaign. Old Spice Guy was already known in the US through television before he became a viral hit on the internet. Cisco’s Ted from Accounting is someone no one has ever heard of though. As Megan O’Neill of Social Times correctly points out in her article about Ted, Cisco just didn’t set the Stage

I do have to point out though that I don’t live in the US and hadn’t heard anything about the Old Spice Guy at all before he went viral on the internet. One quick look on the Old Spice website or Facebook page gave me enough information about the campaign though. So even though Cisco’s dorky Ted from Accounting was unknown it didn’t have to fail this miserably.

FAIL #2: Who should I write to?

The Old Spice Guy Campaign had one, I repeat, ONE Twitter account @OldSpice. Cisco, for some reason decided to use three @CiscoSPMobility, @CiscoSPVideo, and @CiscoSP360. Just to make sure they didn’t miss a thing, people could also use the hashtag #CiscoSPice for your questions. A little overkill don’t you think?

FAIL #3: Where are the influencers?

One of the things I wrote about in my earlier post on Old Spice Guy was the fact that they managed to include many influencers in the blogo- and twittersphere. Cisco did do that a bit, but again, the proper execution just wasn’t there. I wished they used their rapping intern as part of the campaign, make sure he’s lined up in some form or another. Take a (minor) hit and roll with it!

FAIL #4: Good Copy, Bad Copy

In my opinion, if you’re gonnna copy a campaign, you better copy it in such detail that it starts making sense again. This campaign was such a bad copy that it looks like a cheap ripp-off rather than a good copy.

Execution is key

The idea Cisco had I think was great, take a successful campaign and try and see if you can lift on some of it’s success. If you do this though, you better make damn sure you do it right. The right execution is key with this and that’s where Cisco, in my opinion, failed. But hey, at least they tried!

All in all, I’m quite curious to see whether or not they will continue with the Cisco Spice campaign. My advice would be, either improve massively or quit while you’re (not even in the slightest) ahead…

What’s your take on the Cisco Spice campaign?