I believe I’ve made clear my opinion of the Internet before: it is both the greatest and worst thing that has ever happened to us as humans.
There will be days that I rejoice in the spoils of the web, and extol its name. Other times, I wonder how we’ve let our species get to the point of the most vile and insane filth in the gulch that is the comment sections on YouTube.
Today, an Internet-related thing happened that has me buzzing, with the last 6 or so hours a total blur.
And since this is my show, I’ve decided to write about it instead of talking about today’s album, The Chariot’s 2009 release Wars and Rumors of Wars.
A few years ago, the Old Spice company decided to give its public image a complete makeover. No longer were they “grandpa’s aftershave” vendor – instead, they decided to target a younger, hipper demographic. This was exemplified with skit-like commercials that featured ongoing storylines, and starring obscure heroes like Isaiah Mustafa (the “I’m on a horse” guy), Terry Crews, and mother effing Fabio. Some of the writing and direction was done by cult icons Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.
As a mass comm major, I’m fascinated by marketing and advertising. And while I couldn’t personally write a decent commercial to save my life, my work on the production side of the creation process has given me a newfound appreciation for ad campaigns.
Coupled with the fact that I’m on spring break and had few responsibilities yesterday, I spent a couple of hours perusing the interweb and Twitter to pass the time. Around midday, Old Spice launched a new campaign starring “Mr. Wolfdog” –
Yes, an anthropomorphized, 1/4th “wolf dog” and 3/4ths …human dog thing? is the new “Marketing Director” for Old Spice.
The line of products is “wild” themed, with animals (a hawk, a fox that looks a lot like Bowie and, of course, a wolf) serving as the “brand ambassador” for each scent: Wolfthorn, Foxcrest and Hawkridge. It’s campy and hilarious – but ridiculous enough to work. Hell, on the back of the fox looking like Bowie alone, I picked up some deodorant.
The Mr. Wolfdog character reminds me of whatever the fuck this thing is:
I’m sorry if that gif gives you the skeevies. It certainly did for me.
Have a gander at the first in a series of like 5 videos posted just yesterday (!) on Mr. Wolfdog’s new Old Spice-branded Tumblr:
Perfect, right? I promise you whatever company is creating these ad campaigns is full of bizarro geniuses. I don’t even know them and I already respect them.
I tweeted about the new campaign twice, about a half hour after the video was posted and the site went up, but only out of pure coincidence.
Later on in the day, this video was posted:
I never, ever put up for this kind of stuff. I haven’t won a thing in my life: I always lose when I gamble, I’ve only won $2 on a scratch-off and I’m still not a Powerball champion. And after perusing that hashtag a while, I realized I was among hundreds, if not thousands of people who had done the same thing as me.
Much to my surprise, this Twitter direct message arrived late last night:
The link provided was to RSVP for a Google “Hangout” (basically a video conference call service attached to Google Plus – which is why you haven’t heard of it). The details described it as an “interview” – but from what I initially gathered, I didn’t feel like it was a big deal that I had been chosen. Considering how late I had posted the tweet containing the hashtag, there had to have been tons of others invited as well.
Now, since there were so many entries, I figured the actual forum for this “interview” was just going to be a uStream-type nightmare: tons of people, no one’s mics working, dropped connections, stream problems, the whole nine. In essence, a clusterfuck. And maybe that was just me trying to downplay the situation.
The second possibility was more along the lines of superfast, speed date-type interviews. I was banking on this as being the more likely scenario.
But man, I was wrong about all of it.
Just in case it was a more “individualized”-type session, I decided to be more prepared. I printed out a man running with a pie chart in his hands (which I can no longer find on Google – apologies) and a circular “pi” chart.
The interview was scheduled for 10:30am pacific. Right now I am interning during the day for a production company here in Tampa, Diamond View Studios. Being there gave me access to a program called Screenflow, which allows the recording of whatever is on your screen. I have the video from that, but at 20 minutes long and over 500 MB, I have to chop it up before it goes online.
Around noon today, Mr. Wolfdog tweeted again about preparing for an interview. This site was linked: “Teach Me to Job.”
That site contains one of the strangest puzzles I’ve ever put myself through. Mr. Wolfdog describes the most important aspect of an interview as eye contact – which is to say, never ever looking away. To summarize, Teach Me To Job asks permission to use your computer’s built-in camera, then somehow tracks your eyes to see if you look away. If you do, you fail. If you succeed, you pass various checkpoints throughout. At the end, you are able to download and print a “Certificate of Eye Contact.” So I did that and added it to my arsenal of preparedness.
1:30 pm eastern. Go time. Here’s what happened:
As you can see, I was fired and rehired several times. I made it to the final “3” at the end, but eventually lost out to the bearded man.
From the looks of it, it we were only the second group to have gone. I didn’t at all realize that the groups were going to be so small; ours had only 6. The other groups were as small or smaller.
Nor was I expecting the whole thing to be streamed live on YouTube.
Which is why I wanted to Screenflow it! This type of insane, interpersonal marketing campaigning doesn’t happen very often at all. Old Spice did it once before with Isaiah Mustafah answering fan questions, but I’m not sure if they ever did it live.
But I didn’t know it was streaming online till after it had already happened. Now my goofy mug is forever immortalized on a bizarro ad campaign for Old Spice.
It was a good time. I’m bummed that I lost because the three winners have supposedly been asked to write commercials for the company. That would’ve been neat.
But I did my best and made people laugh, so that’s what counts.
As for Wars and Rumors of Wars – it’s good. It’s The Chariot. My Other Car Is A The Chariot. You know what to expect.
This is “Never I” –
Standout tracks: “Teach” and “Daggers” and “Evolve”
Weakest track: “Oversea” – thankfully it’s only :45 seconds long
RIYL: The internet.