Old Spice's Social Media White Elephant Gift Exchange Was a Branded Merchandise Extravaganza
There’s a strategy to a White Elephant gift exchange. It’s like Moneyball but with Christmas presents. Identify value, make effective trades, end up with the best gift possible.
A lot of them take place in offices during holiday parties. But since most people are working from home these days, Old Spice is bringing the tradition of a White Elephant gift exchange online, with the top prize a man cave valued at $13,000, complete with an Old Spice branded billiards table, a flat-screen TV and all kinds of other Old Spice branded merchandise.
— Kyle Kosco (@KoscoKyle) November 23, 2020
It’s over now, but it worked by sending fans to the Old Spice Instagram account. From there, they would find a “digital scratch-off” (like those lottery tickets found in many a White Elephant gift exchange) that would reveal whether they won something or not. If they’re happy with the gift they receive, they can keep it. Or, they could try to swap it for another.
This is a fun way to get in the holiday spirit and add a twist to the online sweepstakes. Of course, if you end up with that big man cave, you basically have a giant Old Spice ad in your home, which is exactly what Proctor & Gamble wants.
Also, it’s a nice variation from the normal holiday promotions we’ve seen a lot of (you can only fit so many ugly sweaters in your closet).
For a company known for its outrageous ad campaigns and memorable branding, creating a giant game of White Elephant through social media (and therefore creating social media engagement where people see plenty of other ads for products) is very on-brand.
According to Marketing Dive, P&G was trying to “cater to homebound audiences who are navigating an unusual holiday period where many won’t be able to see friends and family.” It’s a lot like what other companies are doing for tailgate and sports products, like a giant cooler to encourage social distance or home-tailgate-ready kit.
The only thing missing from this ad campaign is Isaiah Mustafa on a horse.