Old Spice Races to Reach the Young Male

Proctor & Gamble’s Old Spice wants to get, well… young. In an effort to attract youthful customers, the brand’s agency, EVB, has launched four microsites featuring content for NASCAR, music and nightlife enthusiasts.

The creative agency was charged with creating sites to appeal to males between 16 and 24, without explicitly pushing particular products.

“We really wanted to lead with content — the entertainment value — and then follow with the brand,” Daniel Stern, managing director of EVB, told ClickZ News.

As a prominent NASCAR sponsor, the men’s fragrance brand has launched a microsite for fans of the sport. Located at osracingfans.com, the site provides a rich media experience for male fans of the sport between 16 and 24 years old. The site features interviews with and a blog by Old Spice-sponsored driver, Tony Stewart, along with an “In Hot Pursuit of Fans” series of shorts filmed in the parking lot of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. There’s also content that gives exclusive cheat codes for the NASCAR 06: Total Team Control game by Electronic Arts, in which the Old Spice brand has product placement. In the game, Old Spice appears in signage and track integration, on sponsored menu screens, and via an Old Spice-sponsored car.

“NASCAR is a hard thing to own. What we wanted to do is tap into it and find a way through entertainment online to attract an audience to the site,” said Stein. “This is the only place you can find this [content], and that’s why people seek it out and pass it on to their friends.”

A second site, musicinthezone.com, is supported by local radio and a music tour in connection with high-school football in the Midwest. It includes editorial content from Spin magazine. The site currently features four up-and-coming bands, and offers complimentary tracks through Apple’s iTunes store. Site users can input UPC codes from Old Spice products to redeem songs. The brand is also running a sweepstakes on the site where winners will receive one of 30 iPods branded with the Old Spice logo.

The remaining pair of sites work in tandem. Spawned from a TV campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi, EVB developed the sexy “When She’s Hot” Web site that features a woman dancing at a nightclub. The site was launched in March.

The follow-up to the mini-campaign, “When You Stink,” shows clips of a not-so-attractive male dancing at the same club. Both sites let visitors edit the video by combining clips, and send the finished film to friends.

“We thought it would be a great and viral idea to do a parody of our own site,” said Stein. “It’s almost as if he’s dancing with her, but we didn’t want to link them back and forth….We wanted it to be a little more of an underground effort.”

EVB will decide how long to keep up each of the four sites depending on their popularity. The NASCAR and music sites will run through at least the end of the year. The pair, “When She’s Hot” and “When You Stink,” will likely be folded into the oldspice.com Web site in the new year.

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