old spice guy

Old Spice Campaign: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

vivia EHRLICH, B., 2010. The Old Spice Social Media Campaign by numbers [online]. Available at: http://mashable.com/2010/07/15/old-spice-stats/ [Accessed 10 November 2012]

On it’s launch, the Old Spice video, quickly became one of the most popular viral campaigns in history. It saw the ‘Old Spice Guy’ making personalised videos for “fans, randomers and prominent bloggers alike.”

Success in numbers:

  • Number of videos made: 180+
  • Number of video views: 5.9 million
  • Number of comments: 22,500

And that was all within the first two days of the campaign.

The campaign originally launched in February 2010, starring, ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World 2.0 Isaiah Mustafa’ with the originally aid attracted 19 million views across all platforms. The next viral that followed titled, “The Return of the Man your Man could smell like,” launched in June 2010 and within the first few weeks of its existence, quickly attracted 6.9 million views.

“According to Visible Measures-‘Old Spices Responses’, (a.k.a. the string of custom made videos) is one of the fastest growing online video campaigns of all time.”

Using Viewers to go Viral 

“What’s genius about this endeavour is how Old Spice and marketing agency Wieden & Kennedy have used viewers to go viral.” The campaign tapped into everything, from Facebook and Twitter to Reddit to make it reach global levels.

A New Kind of Viral Video? 

“In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here. We just brought a character to life using the social media channels we all use every day.  But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time.” Wieden + Kennedy’s Global Interactive Creative Director Iain Tait 

Part of this viral’s success lies with the fact that Old Spice created a character that people actually liked, and then created an experience that immersed people and that they wanted to be a part of.

via FISHER, L., 2011. The ROI of Social Media: 10 Case Studies [online]. Available at:http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/07/16/the-roi-of-social-media-10-case-studies/  [Accessed 10 November 2012]

“To really see the value of a social media campaign and how it can drive ROI, its worthwhile taking a look at one of the most famous and successful social media campaigns so far: Old Spice.”

The real question is, did this highly successful campaign show any ROI? According to the marketing agency behind the campaign, it did. Since the original campaign launched with ‘Mustafa’, sales increased 27% year on year. But in the 3 months following the highlight of the campaign sales were up by 55%, reaching 107% in the final month of the social media campaign.

via BULLAS, J., 2011. 11 Social Media Marketing Lesson from the Old Spice Campaign [online].http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/08/30/11-social-media-marketing-lessons-from-the-old-spice-campaign/ [Accessed 10 November 2012]

[in reference to the Old Spice campaign] “It has longevity and endurance, that has been achieved through a mix of several reiterations, as well as using online and offline marketing, social media and PR that has kept the original content bubbling across the web.”

Old Spice Campaign Facts & Figures

  • The number one most viewed sponsored channel on YouTube
  • 236 million YouTube views
  • 80,000 Twitter followers in 2 days
  • Facebook interaction increased 800% with the personalised videos (fans now total over 2.2 million)
  • Sales figures increased 107%

The Old Spice campaign achieved both the noise and buzz behind a viral campaign and also saw an increase in sales- demonstrating true success in a social media campaign.

11 Social Media Marketing lessons to learn from the Old Spice Campaign:

Keep your Videos short and snappy: Original rule was to keep online videos to a maximum of two minutes, and the Old Spice video were mostly less than a minute, with one at only 17 seconds. 

Turn your Advertising in ‘Content’ that is Easy to Share: A traditional offline video is hard to share, so making your ad into a YouTube video allows it to be shared and the distribution crowd sourced.

Make your Marketing Content Searchable: Publishing online as well as offline, makes your content searchable and able to be viewed on demand.

Be Everywhere: Marketing on as many appropriate multi-channel and multi-media marketing channels using social media ensures that the broadest possible distribution is achieved, by tapping into viewers media and platform preferences. “The agency participated and promoted across many social media channels and networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The campaign wasn’t just published on social media channels, but also promoted using social media marketing to spread the brand message.” 

Respond in Real Time: “In 24 hours the ‘Old Spice Guy’ responded to Tweets (including a marriage proposal), with 116 YouTube (The crew was given 7 minutes to record each video including the writing and the shooting with only one or two takes).”
The principle of real time response can include responding to comments on Facebook and tweets on Twitter to keep the conversation rolling.

Use other People’s and other Media’s Networks (for free): “The Wieden & Kennedy campaign decided to respond  to tweets with YouTube video responses, and when the ‘Old Spice Guy’ responded to the ‘Ellen Show’ tweet with a YouTube video, then of course this was broadcast to millions on her shows network.” Tap into large networks by giving them the attention they want and crave, and they will spread it for free to their distribution networks, whether that be Facebook, Twitter or television.

Use Social Media to Activate Mass Media: If your social media marketing is good enough, mass media will pick it up, especially if it has humour and entertainment value. It will advertise for free to millions of their viewers and readers.

Keep the Content Pumping: The “Old Spice” campaign which was video centric managed to produce 100′s of videos led by a team of 4 writers, a camera crew and a half naked actor.” The approach was certainly quantity over quality, which social media advocates will recognise. Don’t wait for your post to be perfect, before hitting the publish button…because it never will be.

Drive Engagement through Personalisation: The marketing team behind the Old Spice campaign, responded personally to tweets with custom YouTube videos, this both surprised and amazed the global audience.

If it works, keep repeating a Proven Formula: “The old saying ‘when your on to a good thing stick to it’ applies very much to this marketing success which initially started with the Super Bowl YouTube video which received 100,000 views every few hours has been repeated twice with a new angle every time. The second  time was a 2 day marathon of high quality personalised video responses to questions asked by fans on Twitter and YouTube. The latests reiteration was last month with a rival introduced called Fabio (an ageing male super model) and cleverly called the ‘New Old Spice Guy‘”

Add a Negative Twist: The creators of the campaign decided to add a negative twist to rejuvenate the campaign, by introducing a rival called ‘Fabio’, the ‘New Old Spice Guy’, and had the viewers vote on who they preferred. It produced a lot of buzz online and negative comment (viewers loved the original Old Spice Guy- Isaiah Mustafa) that continued to drive the viral conversation, with the original ‘Old Spice Guy’ winning the competition.


This entry was published on November 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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