Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
If you've got something to say, should you go to desperate lengths to make sure everyone hears it?
What about if you've got relatively little to say?
That, frankly, is the case for most brands. They don't have much intrinsic value or even a vast point of difference from competitors, so they try and inveigle their way into your feelings.
Many try too hard.
They boast. They make claims pulled from cranial crevices that should have remained closed.
And then there's Old Spice.
It has something of a tradition for being, well, absurd.
Which is how some people might describe the Grammys.
So during last night's show, the teen boys' fragrance maker ran an ad entirely in French. Yes, without subtitles.
Here's the subtitled version for you, just to ease you in.
Isn't that adorable?
Here's a brand that understands exactly whom it's selling to, a market of troubled skeptics desperate to make sense of a world that's clearly gone bonkers.
So why not release a completely insane--and yet entirely, sensibly, amusing--ad that mocks all the fragrance ads that get released at Christmas?
You know, the ones that groan with passion, allure, eroticism, and whichever famous star the fragrance company persuaded to play slightly demented in their ad.
What was Old Spice trying to achieve? Oh, getting people to talk about the ad and therefore the brand.
The Twitterati obliged, with raging discussions about whether this oeuvre was brilliant or demeaning.
Clearly, this sort of strategy won't work for every brand.
Advertising, though, has become painfully data-driven, so anything that rises above the numbers is surely welcome.
And, as I'm sure the politically inclined may mutter, how nice it is to see an American brand do everything in French.
There's still hope for rapprochement in the world.