Old Spice Braves New World

The first time I saw the Old Spice man, he was riding a horse, backwards.  That was about 6 months ago. On a humor scale I probably found it a 6 out of 10. I then saw Old Spice man #2 – and he was a bit scary, but still funny. And that was about the extent of my thought process. At the time, I figured the Old Spice campaign was a few TV spots – a little edgy but still a traditional medium that you’d expect from an every day consumer product.

Fast forward to today when I stumble upon @oldspice.  With 45K followers, Old Spice has transformed into a social media sensation. Their youtube channel has 6 million views,  and more incredibly, their uploads have a collective SIXTY MILLION views. Wow!!!

How did this transformation happen? Some thoughts…

First, Old Spice invested early on in building brand awareness of the OSG (Old Spice guy). I may be giving them too much credit but in retrospect I really think they had a clear communication and content strategy. Once they established some mass market traction, they launched into phase two…

Leveraging the awareness of OSG, OSG marketers began carrying on conversations with celebs like Christina Applegate and Alyssa Milano, as well as every day Joes. And they all want to talk to him. I don’t think this would have been the case without the traditional media spend they invested in early on (proving my oft made point that social media is just a tactic in the marketer’s arsenal, not a strategy). Add to that well thought out social content with broad appeal and you’ve created a viral need for others to also engage with OSG. I have never seen anything like this.

It’s customized, mass market, 1:1 marketing over a social landscape. Incredible job… I guess the question I have is – will this help sell more Old Spice??? Curious as to whether or not people are embracing this as purely entertainment or if Old spice is building brand loyalty here (in fact I may just ask him). Your thoughts?


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  1. #1 by Kris Kaneta on July 15, 2010 - 7:34 am

    Link below to a well written case study on the Old Spice Campaign including some visuals on their share of voice. Talk about atmospheric rise. That said, the same question was posed there as it was here… is it just good will, or will the campaign generate translate into sales?

    My guess is that this really targets a younger (teen / early 20s) demographic who probably hasn’t shown a lot of brand loyalty in the bodywash category – and I would expect to see strong share of wallet growth among that group.


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