Moms have typically exerted the greatest control over how money gets spent in any household. But influence over purchasing decisions can come from any source.
We’ve written before about Generation Z’s $44 billion in purchasing power. The group born between 1995 and 2015 can control as much as $200 billion when factoring in influence over parents. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see moms injected in the latest viral campaign for Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice. The ads have all the weirdness you would come to expect from an Old Spice spot. Except “sensible” mothers are there to make the final product pitch. The 30-second “Beach Budz” spot had more than 3 million YouTube views after just four days on the channel.
The products, with names like Bearglove, Hawkridge, Krakengard and Wolfthorn, are all made to appeal to Gen Z males. This most recent wave of ads exemplifies our own research about Gen Z buying habits, particularly those of young men.
We’ve already highlighted how Gen Z spending power jumps nearly five-fold once parents — namely Mom — get involved. The idea behind the ads becomes: Grab the boys’ attention so they can show mom this crazy ad on their phone. Then if it keeps their sons from stinking, what’s the downside? She’s gotta buy it!
Gen Z, which has proven to be video agnostic, doesn’t care where it views these ads, be it TV or online. Traditional advertising remains a great tool for reaching Gen Z. According to participants in the We Are Gen Z surveys, 63% said ads are a good way to learn about new products with Hispanics having the greatest response at 66% followed by African Americans at 64%.
The genders however, each react differently to brands, according to research. Males surveyed said they look to brands to help shape their identity more than women do. Of the guys, 54% said they like the brands their friends like compared to 47% of females. Also, 62% of males said they like brands that make them look cool, compared with 52% of females. Males are also more likely to have a favorite brand — 71% — more than females — 60%.
Old Spice really wants the guys to notice these short, goofy spots with quick cuts and ridiculous imagery in the hopes of getting them or their friends to take a whiff next time they’re in the personal grooming aisle. More importantly, Old Spice wants guys to relay that information to Mom so she can pick up a bottle of their favorite body wash or hair product next time she’s grocery shopping.
So as ridiculous as inflatable boat-driving sea creatures, or motorcycle-riding wolves may seem, there is logic in this marketer’s lunacy. After all, moms do want to please their kids.