Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is lighting up the internet (and “traditional media”) and could perhaps be the biggest viral/social media/word of mouth whatever you want to call it this year.

The campaign is not new — TV ads have been running for months — but just this week things exploded in the digital realm, when the campaign’s character began posting custom YouTube videos directly addressing a slew of well-known digital and “real life” personalities.

Iain Tait, global interactive creative director at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, who is leading the effort, told ReadWriteWeb, “In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here…We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time.”

The real question here is: if PR is “winning” or “controlling” social media, as we so often hear, why didn’t a PR agency create this campaign? It came from Wieden, and as far as we can tell, had little or no PR involvement.

So, while PR types debate the merits of the “social media press release,” whether it’s ok to “mass pitch” reporters and how they should best “deliver” content, ad agencies are focusing on the content first. Maybe the PR industry should take a closer look at that.

After the jump, an email pitch from Wieden for the campaign. It’s pretty simple, but gets the point across.

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is lighting up the internet (and “traditional media”) and could perhaps be the biggest viral/social media/word of mouth whatever you want to call it this year.

The campaign is not new — TV ads have been running for months — but just this week things exploded in the digital realm, when the campaign’s character began posting custom YouTube videos directly addressing a slew of well-known digital and “real life” personalities.

Iain Tait, global interactive creative director at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, who is leading the effort, told ReadWriteWeb, “In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here…We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time.”

The real question here is: if PR is “winning” or “controlling” social media, as we so often hear, why didn’t a PR agency create this campaign? It came from Wieden, and as far as we can tell, had little or no PR involvement.

So, while PR types debate the merits of the “social media press release,” whether it’s ok to “mass pitch” reporters and how they should best “deliver” content, ad agencies are focusing on the content first. Maybe the PR industry should take a closer look at that.

After the jump, an email pitch from Wieden for the campaign. It’s pretty simple, but gets the point across.

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