World Vision seeks the smell of Old Spice’s viral success

World Vision Australia is among the first to attempt to tap into the viral success of Old Spice’s social media drive with its own take on the mcuh talked about campaign.

It features CEO Tim Costello making a pitch on behalf of the charity.


  1. Kimberley
    16 Jul 10
    2:15 pm

  2. good work World Vision – great to see a big organisation jumping in on the latest viral magic (and to see a CEO in his robe!)

  3. gothamgal
    16 Jul 10
    2:18 pm

  4. Can’t wait to see the dialogue on this. .

    Understanding the imperative to create cut through for donations, how does being classified a ‘charity’ provide carte blanche for capitalising on someone else’s blood sweat and tears?

    If this was any other brand outside of the charity sector, they would be crucified. The lines of professional courtesy and respect for another’s IP have been crossed.

    The equity it’s taken World Vision to build over the last couple of decades has certainly been affected in my mind

  5. Clara
    16 Jul 10
    2:19 pm

  6. “Emperor Penguin” so excellent. Nice one World Vision, unashamedly capitalising straight away on a great idea. And I love that it’s the CEO!

  7. Clara
    16 Jul 10
    2:21 pm

  8. @gothamgal yes I did straight away think of the potential legal ramifications here. *shrugs* I think this one needs to be taken for exactly what it is though. This might capture the minds of an audience that World Vision has yet to harness? It might completely get sept over, who knows!

  9. Clara
    16 Jul 10
    2:22 pm

  10. *swept

  11. Lucie
    16 Jul 10
    2:31 pm

  12. I think it’s tops! Good on them for striking whilst the iron’s hot. Great job.

  13. Christine
    16 Jul 10
    2:42 pm

  14. More wow. Effective. Clever. 1. It got covered in mumbrella 2. I watched it. 3. got the message. No doubt a whole new audience for World Vision.

  15. Alex
    16 Jul 10
    2:48 pm

  16. It’s awesome to see Tim Costello do something like this!

  17. Billy The Fish
    16 Jul 10
    2:57 pm

  18. I cant see Old Spice complaining at all. If anything people will see this ad and be reminding of the Old Spice ad – it is almost an endorsement for Old Spice.

    Good on ya Tim! It is good to see a CEO rolling up the sleeves and living and breathing his companies message.

    I think they will be fine legally. now, if brut did this they could be in bother 😉

  19. Atlas
    16 Jul 10
    3:04 pm

  20. Very cool

  21. albert
    16 Jul 10
    3:07 pm

  22. nice try but it’s too long, tries too hard and is ultimately a little boring. everything that the original is not.

  23. Keith Don
    16 Jul 10
    3:22 pm

  24. Thought I’d reply to @gothamgal

    Firstly this video is very clearly a parody, and we ran it past our legal dept before creating the clip. Secondly I have personally been in touch with the Creative Director responsible for the originals to give them a courteous heads up and ensure they were okay with our homage to their genius.

    It was an amazing effort for a organisation like ours to turn something like this around in less than 24 hours. With all the approvals and work required from a team across the business on what was a crazy idea about 11am yesterday.

    We are trying to take World Vision forward using digital media as an important channel. Its still early days and we won’t be stopping the tv ads just yet but its great to get the organisation excited about social media.

    Thanks for the comments too.

    Keith Don
    Digital Channels Manager
    World Vision Australia

  25. Herald Sun Reader
    16 Jul 10
    3:34 pm

  26. Without approvals you could’ve done a 100 in 24 hours like them, but I guess that’s the problem right.

  27. Anonymous
    16 Jul 10
    3:40 pm

  28. gothamgal. “The lines of professional courtesy and respect for another’s IP have been crossed”
    Ohh come on now.
    Welcome to the World 3.0.
    It’s a sharing economy.

    As a charity or otherwise. Great idea.

  29. Anonymous
    16 Jul 10
    3:44 pm

  30. Just saw your comment Keith.
    Well said!
    And congratulations to your team in turning this around.

    The thought behind the latest (amazing) viral push for OldSpice to is tap into this whole world of social media. The fact that WorldVision has leveraged that… is precisely what OldSpice want! And in execution it works for them both.


  31. T
    16 Jul 10
    3:44 pm

  32. Awful.

    It’s like watching your dad trying to be cool.

    Who’s this aimed at, really?

    Unfortunately, in this case, the cause doesn’t justify the means.

  33. Anonymous
    16 Jul 10
    3:44 pm

  34. Wish the CEO was looking straight forward though!

  35. Long time listener, first time caller...
    16 Jul 10
    3:45 pm

  36. Keith old boy – massive and very excellent job.

  37. Nathan Maguire
    16 Jul 10
    3:57 pm

  38. Yes, well its not really in the leagues of

    That’s what you’re aiming for.

  39. B
    16 Jul 10
    4:02 pm

  40. There’s a word for what you’re all doing in here. And it’s:

    This is a really, really bad ad.

    The attempt at humour is inappropriate for the gravity of the subject. Young people will reject it, and old people won’t get it. There is nothing good to say about this.

    World Vision employees. Please stop posting.

  41. snowflake
    16 Jul 10
    4:52 pm

  42. couldn’t they get him a teleprompter!? he’s clearly reading off screen, which is understandable, he can’t be expected to learn all those lines by heart. but the fact that he’s not looking straight at the camera totally ruins it.

  43. Vegie supreme
    16 Jul 10
    5:09 pm

  44. Yeah nah

  45. Anonymous
    16 Jul 10
    5:17 pm

  46. Lighten up B…. good try lecturing Rev Costello on the ‘gravity’ of poverty.

  47. B
    16 Jul 10
    5:29 pm

  48. Dear 5:17.

    An ad is an ad, and this is a bad one.

    Me lightening up won’t change that. I’m just being honest.

    The issue at hand is a desperate one, and deserves much, much, better than this. Sadly, the best of intentions (no matter how worthy) won’t make people give you money, and this ad is a perfect example. And the sooner then cheer squad at World Vision understands this, the better it’ll be for the people who need your help.

    The ad is awful. It’ll raise no money.

    Please World Vision staff – move on.

  49. Anonymous
    16 Jul 10
    5:55 pm

  50. I couldn’t watch it past the 5 second mark. Awful.

  51. Costello's comedy
    16 Jul 10
    7:31 pm

  52. It’s not great. But good on them. They struck quickly. I watched it – right to the end (grimacing a bit, sure), but a message got through.

    Their tv ads and DM pieces have all begun to look the same same to me and this made me look.

    I used to sponsor a kid. Now I know there’s other ways of donating. I’ll check it out.

    I’m on a Mac.

  53. edster
    16 Jul 10
    8:27 pm

  54. awful guys. very, very awful.
    wish id never seen tim costello’s bare gut, very, very much.

  55. Hammertime
    17 Jul 10
    12:27 am

  56. Boring as bat shit. Its copy and paste job with bedroom production values and takes 4 times longer to get the message across. Like T said, its like watching your Dad trying to rap. Homage is nice when it is done good. It is easy to duplicate but it is difficult to be better.

  57. ralphy
    17 Jul 10
    7:54 am

  58. You guys are mean. I’d like to see you lot execute a better social media idea on a charity budget in 24 hours. Sure it’s not “cool” but good on Tim C for being a good sport. Leave him alone.

  59. pk
    17 Jul 10
    1:46 pm

  60. I agree with ralphy, it obviously wasn’t an expensive ad and it shows, in fact there’s probably a billion youtube parodies that are better crafted and as funny as the original. but then it’s still a good cause. now if they actually paid for broadcast publication that would be a different story.

  61. Sal Hanson
    17 Jul 10
    5:41 pm

  62. I am disgusted by the negativity of some of these comments. If any of you have paid attention, this video has become a viral success and in the end – that is the point of social media! Since when was ‘what works’ about quality?! Its about distribution, timing and mommentum. Have you ever visited YouTube?!

    Additionally, when have you seen a CEO cared enough about his organization to make himself vunerable like this? It disgusts me that you guys are having a stab at him when I am sure you wouldnt be willing to do the same.

    Shame on you Mumbrella readers, I have never been so embaressed to be amongst your readership.

    Thank you Keith for all your hard work, its obviously that your organization is trying to remain relevant. Not many brands could pull this off. I will be retweeting.

  63. clive Burcham
    18 Jul 10
    6:39 am

  64. this is gold …. @OhDoctah vs. @OldSpice

  65. Martin Johnson
    18 Jul 10
    7:23 pm

  66. Very cool – just wondering why Tim isn’t looking at camera? Would have been heaps better if his eyeline was to camera.

  67. Anthony
    19 Jul 10
    4:51 am

  68. Idea/strategy was good, execution was really poor.

  69. edster
    19 Jul 10
    11:38 am

  70. So apparently because this is a charity we’re supposed to excuse it for being a cheap, poorly executed excuse for a ‘social media strategy’? I’m not that patronising.

    If the WV employees and others here want to run around thinking that this is ‘good’ then all you’re doing is disrespecting the original and lowering the standard for all production values.

    Here we are (mostly) marketing professionals and we tell it like it is. And this is bad. If you don’t know the difference then I’m glad you’re not doing this professionally.

  71. michelle n
    19 Jul 10
    1:20 pm

  72. Good on you, Tim.

  73. Lewis John
    19 Jul 10
    1:44 pm

  74. Anyone know which agency they use?

  75. Deborah
    19 Jul 10
    2:27 pm

  76. Brilliant, loved it, good on you World Vision.

  77. David
    19 Jul 10
    4:02 pm

  78. @amnesia are on their books. I can similarities between this and the non-viral viral at the beginning of the year in terms of production quality…anyone know?

  79. Ron Jeremy
    19 Jul 10
    4:09 pm

  80. Wrong subject matter for a pisstake on a funny ad.

    And Tim, try talking straight to the camera like the original does as that’s the essence of the concept.


  81. David
    19 Jul 10
    4:15 pm

  82. this is to be commended for just being “on to it”.
    i also think our industry needs to take a chill pill!

  83. monkeypuncher
    19 Jul 10
    4:23 pm

  84. Painful to watch. Way to instill guilt into a pleasurable meme! Good result for a quick turnaround but I still want to stick forks in my eyes.

  85. cranky
    19 Jul 10
    4:27 pm

  86. Oh such a good try… but unfortunately it jarrs because the delivery is so bad. I love that they tried just wish it was executed properly… Old Spice will love that a not-for-profit is imitating them… greatest form of flattery and all that. Agree should be commended for being onto it… but i saw Old Spice on youtube via facebook a few months ago… anyway if nothing else it was great for WV to do something humorous rather than those images of malnourished children we are now all so cold to.

  87. John Grono
    19 Jul 10
    6:34 pm

  88. Yep, it sure won’t win metal.

    And judging by a lot of the negative comments regarding this ‘spin-off” campaign that seems to be what counts for a lot of people. The production quality was (deliberately?) poor, and BADLY in need of a tele-prompter – again no metal.

    So, should WV have had a quarter of a mill productiuon budget to appease the Mumbrella readers? Just maybe they put that production money out into parts of the world that are a lot less fortunate than us.

    C’mon … lighten up. They are trying to do good for kids around the world who deserve food, shelter and clean water and not trying to win metal.

    Dear People

    I think a lot of you are confusing this with ‘stuff’, when it’s very clearly a ‘thing’, if you know what I mean.

    You people are in advertising. ADVERTISING. I would be too, if I could spell. Or direct art or whatever you people do… anyway …

    It looks like it was made for $10, which is fab. If they spent money on it would look like something else, like they were serious, which they’re not. The only thing serious is trying every (cheap) trick in the book to get people talking and they did. The lameness is part of the ‘thing’. As I said, it’s a ‘thing’ and you know what I mean.

    It’s also good. GOOD as in ‘good’. Not as in ‘genius’ but as in good, like cheese is good, like penguins are good.

    It’s disposable. It’s meant to be disposable. Disposable is good. A disposable ‘thing’ is even better. Like penguins are better (I was wrong when I said they were good, they are better than good).

    Not looking at the camera, those wacky transitions, the lameness. It’s part of the thing. It is what it is. It’s meant to be what it is. It’s not dressed up as something else. Can’t you see it? Damnit, even I can see it.

    Disposable. Make noise, stir up dust, maybe get a controversy happening, do it all for $10 and then move on. That’s guerilla marketing (or is it ‘gorilla’ marketing, I’m not sure, but whatever it is, it is covered in hair and makes my heart race).

    The penguin thing was sheer genius.

    And the thing worked on me. It was extremely effective. I’m donating $13.75 to Greenpeace. I want to save those penguins from the Japanese. Damn them to hell for what they are doing to the penguins.

    I love this, I love Tim, I want to see Tim in a towel. I want to see more Tim, much, much more Tim. When I think ‘man’ I think Tim. But I’m not his type; I know that, I live with that. It’s hard, try being me and you’ll know. For $75 for a half hour you will also understand.

    Sure, I could make Tim happy. That’s what I do, but I know it wouldn’t work out. I’m a realist folks. And those of you who think this is anything less than ‘Good’ are not realists.

    You have to get over it. It’s disposable. It has worked. People are watching it. There are some of you who know this, I love you. Remember $75 gets you 30 minutes and that’s real value.

    So let’s join Tim and save the penguins and children and those other important things that people do from Zodiac inflatables in the bitter cold of the Southern Ocean.




    It’s lonely out ther in the Souther Oceans; I can send photos.

  89. edster
    20 Jul 10
    1:11 am

  90. WTF?

    Dear ‘Edster’


    What does that mean?

    I know what it means.

    It means you don’t get it. You don’t get the WV thing, you take it seriously. You think there is some ‘standard’ for production values.

    You think that a successful campaign is not open for zero budget parody. Or you think the parody has to be executed to some ‘standard’.

    You think there are ‘rules’ for things.

    The consumer doesn’t care. They either like it or not. What ‘ad’ people think is not relevant to them.

    It also means you don’t get my previous comment. It means you can’t, won’t, or don’t read between the lines. All the fun stuff is between the lines.

    Spelling it out for you only ruins the fun. And I could spell it out for you. But I’d have to spell slowly. And I’m not that patient.

    Edster, someone with a stick has rolled your rock over.

    There are no rules. There is no right and no wrong.

    There are other rocks nearby, you can run for cover.



  91. krangsquared
    20 Jul 10
    3:50 am

  92. I really hate to say this, but it’s the Daryl Somers of viral videos.

    Or as someone once used to describe something else, the category of “Hey internet, look at me, I’ve set myself on fire!”

    @Keith Don – What were you guys thinking? Was this meant to “cut through the noise”? Was this meant to be “so funny you’d give a tip” – ala-internet busking? If you were going to have a performance, get a *performer* or one of those viral video youtube wunderkind. Don’t make your CEO just another 10-second laughing stock on FAIL blog.

    Now if you got *Peter* Costello in a towel… and looking at the camera… with *that* smirk…

    I clearly don’t get it. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer my bleeding heart appeals to stay sincere and not try to pull off any of this ironic, random crap.

    WV = pictures of 3rd world despair, refugee camps, smiling sponsored children, making me guilty in my cushy chair.

    WV != ‘irony’, meme surfing, penguins (belongs to Linux/Greenpeace/WWF!), funny.

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?

  93. Dino
    20 Jul 10
    8:12 am

  94. i just lost 1min 37seconds of my life. terrible. look at the camera you goose

  95. Ali Kiggundu
    20 Jul 10
    8:47 am

  96. Your point is well made Dino.

    Clearly that 1 min 37 seconds of your life is FAR more important than the lives of the 20 children around the world who died of starvation during that same amount of time.

    On behalf of those 20 children I apologise.

  97. Mike
    20 Jul 10
    9:40 am

  98. what were they thinking? wrong, wrong, wrong.

  99. Sarah
    20 Jul 10
    9:47 am

  100. Lavina – I think you’re the one that doesn’t get it… You donated to Greenpeace for christs sake. I would hardly call that an ‘extremely effective’ ad for World Vision when you feel compelled to donate to a completely different not-for-profit!

    I also don’t believe that World Vision purposely made it look cheap. I think they were trying to create a great video and just didn’t have the ability internally to produce something up to scratch. It’s a shame because I think the concept was good but the execution has let it down.

  101. Mike
    20 Jul 10
    9:56 am

  102. Me thinks too many World Vision marketing employees are driving the ‘positive’ discussion here.

  103. Flow
    20 Jul 10
    10:45 am

  104. Lavinia, you are my hero x

  105. Long time listener, first time caller...
    20 Jul 10
    12:23 pm

  106. Lavina – I can’t stop laughing! 75 bucks for 30mins? You can’t buy a junior art director for that kind of money!

  107. krangsquared
    20 Jul 10
    12:28 pm

  108. @Longtime : If you click on the link for Lavinia’s username, I think you’ll get an idea what you can get for that $75. =) Love you long time!

  109. Long time listener, first time caller...
    20 Jul 10
    12:48 pm

  110. @krangsquared Hahahaha! That’s nice – I like that!
    Give that man a job at World Vision!

  111. Long time listener, first time caller...
    20 Jul 10
    12:48 pm

  112. *or woman even…

  113. OtherAndrew
    20 Jul 10
    3:18 pm

  114. I reckon getting an audience of 17 500 people (well, that number of views, anyway) makes this a success. Kudos to Tim and the team.

  115. SL
    20 Jul 10
    7:21 pm

  116. It’s great. What’s with all the negativity?

  117. alexofmelbourne
    20 Jul 10
    9:31 pm

  118. Keith and Tim, awesome work!

  119. edster
    20 Jul 10
    10:40 pm

  120. Lavinia:

    Dear Sir and/or Madam

    Just to clear up your questions and let you sleep better, the WTF was directed to the ad, to you, your post and your web link.

    I dare not slip back under another rock for fear of running into you but thanks for the reminder that I’m actually online. Sometimes I forget what a screwed up place this really is.

    luv ya

  121. Claire
    23 Jul 10
    1:48 pm

  122. As a child sponsor I am pleased to see that a lot of money wasn’t wasted on production, getting an actor etc etc… I would be worried if my contribution to looking after a child was actually being spent on big production TV commercials (and yes, before anyone starts I know they have ‘real’ TV commercials out there..). Good on them for trying to reach the social marketing audience, for jumping on the back of a campaign that is well recognised (and I knew before reading the directors comment that they would have run it past the powers that be, they aren’t dumb) and good on Tim for getting behind the company and rolling his sleeves up (or taking them off completely!), and whilst not all of us are excited about seeing him in just his bathroom, who cares!! People are talking about it, so instead of complaining about it why not put your hand in your pocket and help look after a child that needs it…. it’s less than a coffee a day…. And no I don’t work for any child sponsor program…

  123. Claire
    23 Jul 10
    1:56 pm

  124. P.S @krangsquared – thanks for the advice, clicked on it to see who this funny Lavinia was… great, now the IT department are going to think I am looking at porn which will be brought to the attention of my boss and now I may get fired cos I have done something wrong according to the IT protocol…. oh well, didn’t like it here much anymore anyway…

  125. Anon
    26 Jul 10
    10:09 am

  126. Nice attempt to follow on. Who directed Tim not to look straight to camera? What a shame. It’s completely distracting and foregoes the compelling presence of the Old Spice guy “talking directly to me”, making the medium personal.

    If they have a second camera cut, I would strongly recommend they re-edit this and get it right. At the moment, its slightly off target. Other than that, shoot it again.

    But good on Tim for being brave enough to do it!