YouTube gets real with Cannes delegates

To prove its power as a marketing tool, the site invites festival-goers to recreate ads it made famous.

Ever wish you were as manly as Isaiah Mustafa in the Old Spice ads? Attendees of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity were given a chance to be the “man your man can smell like” or even the bear and hunter from the now-famous “Hunter shoots a bear” ads for Tipp-Ex.

Strategy writer Jonathan Paul stepped up to the plate to try it out. Dressed in a fake muscle chest and a towel, Paul stood in front of a green-screen where he was prompted on what to say and when to hold various props. One screen in front of him showed the actual commercial and another showed Paul’s re-creation of it. It was filmed and posted to YouTube, where participants can find their own film by searching their name plus the brand (e.g. “Jonathan Paul Old Spice.”)

The stunt was part of YouTube’s efforts to convince advertising and marketing professionals that they should use the site to market their brand. By leveraging the success of two of the site’s most popular viral advertisements, it also served as a reminder of how powerful it can be. And now Old Spice will have even more hits on YouTube as delegates search for their videos – as if it needed them.