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The Brand Your Brand Could Smell Like

Does your marketing plan involve action figures?

Maybe it should.

When I was a kid, I had three action figures: the ubiquitous G.I. Joe, a creepy guy named Stretch Armstrong whose left arm I eventually cut off to see what kind of toxic goo was inside, and an Action Jackson who looked a lot like G.I. Joe with a tan. Most of the “action” they saw involved being launched across the yard with homemade slingshots, holding lit firecrackers until they exploded, and being gnawed by family pets – sometimes all in the same day.

Oh, how times have changed.

According to a story I read in Time recently, there are three tiny new heroes in town. These are no average Joes, though – G.I. or otherwise. These action figures come straight out of the world of advertising. That’s right – the “actions” in this case are drinking beer in the company of beautiful women (Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World), causing accidents (Allstate’s Mayhem) and smelling good while not wearing a shirt (Old Spice’s Man Your Man Could Smell Like).

All three of these characters now have their own diminutive doppelgangers.

That people want a replica of these pitchmen sitting around their home or office speaks volumes about the success of the campaigns with which they are associated. And they do want them – as of today, Man Your Man Could Smell Like is sold out.

So, when you are considering your go-to-market plan, maybe you should remember the classic Volkswagen ad from the sixties – and Think Small.

What advertising icon would you like to see turned into an action figure?