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Hello ladies? When did you first smell Old Spice?

by TonyBerkman (editor), Costa Rica, July 27, 2010

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Old Spice has launched the most successful viral, video marketing campaign, to-date, in history. What can we learn from it?

If you are one of the few who have not watched the Old Spice YouTube ads, you are missing the most successful viral, video marketing campaigns ever.

Actor and a former, retired football star Isaiah Mustafa, engages viewers with his bare-chested, suave, smooth-talking charm, that has resulted in 10s of millions of views, millions of comments, thousands of tweets to him, including questions from the likes of political commentator George Stephanopolous.

Why has Old Spice been so successful creating such mass viral appeal. Every video they launch receives massive iewership and they continue to lead the viral charts. So it is not accident.

What is their secret sauce or smell? It's easy to Monday morning quarterback why, however there are a few lessons that marketers and pr pros can learn.

1) Public Participation : Old Spice pushes the edges and engages consumers directly. No editing, just good old fashioned, I'll give you a line and you use it. Old Spice gets the 30 second lines for Isaiah Mustafa from the public and creates the spots directly around these prosumer's comments.

2) Real Time : The Old Spice team makes real time video responses. It's old news though old media still doesn't quite get it. This is a conversation. A person, tweets, and in minutes Old Spice responds. The public is tired of boar room marketing tricks, Madison Avenue overdone humour & high- brow pitches. We wan't real. We wan't real time. We want real people. We want real brands to talk to us, not at us.

3) Fun & Freedom to Improvise : the platforms for doing this kind of marketing exist. Twitter gives brands instant access to consumer input. A twitter account is free. Real time filming is done easily with flips, a few computer graphic designers, and a great personality. There is nothing fancy here. It's inexpensive, fun and it works, big time.

3.) Go For It Attitude : Brands need to stop taking themselves so seriously. Have they not yet realized that they do not own their own brand. Their brand is the space the occupy in the mind of the consumer. There is enough going on in the world that is serious. So if you want some of that mind space, tet talented, creative, people who are in the flow of technology and change and let them do the things they know how to. Suits step out of the way. We are living in a "brand" new world where meritrocracy trumps seniority.

4.) Team Work : Let the team do the work. It is not longer a top down organizational structure that should dictate marketing and public relations. Your employees aer number one. Creative brands let creative people do the work. Traditional business, old media, pyramid style organizations need to flatten the marketing and public realtions's side of their business and let the people who do creative and understand social media do their jobs. Veto power from the top is the wrong way to go. Haven't smart business strategists been saying this for years?

Is is possible to recreate what Old Spice has accomplished? Probably not. Who wants a copy of an original, anyway? What do you think?



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8 comments on Hello ladies? When did you first smell Old Spice?

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By TonyBerkman on July 27, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Thanks Char. I believe community should be the creative energy and that my job and others who design the site, is really to create an environment that is a catalyst for that energy. There are plenty of amazingly, talented writers here, so my view is that Broo the site should provide tool for writers to improve, such as the Writer's Resource Center, though tap into the brilliance of the community to build each other's skills. A flat community is better than pyramid. There are times where differences need to be recognized and taken into account. That is where the real skill lies in facilitating the growth of a community. Credit needs to be given where credit is due. Respect, for skill, should be recognized too. i.e. be a meritocracy :)

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By Digidave on July 28, 2010 at 12:04 am

I LOVED these videos. I normally like to think that advertising doesn't work on me.

This one did - but I'm actually okay with it -because it was very transparent. They were making straight calls to use old spice in a very funny way. I appreciate the humor. I am going to buy old spice not because I think it's a magically better or great smelling product - but because they made me laugh.

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By TonyBerkman on July 28, 2010 at 12:15 am

@digidave, you're hilarious. You are actually going to buy Old spice? I think I may do it too though instead of one Old Spice, buy one for everyone in the office :)

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By Angie Alaniz on July 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

Oh G_d No, please spear me.

Though that video is awesome and very creative and captivating, but from what I remember that cologne was really strong and doesn't leave you with wanting more.

On the other hand might be a good improvement on Rocky. :)

*Article does have a great point of view with todays advertising trends.

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By Theresa H Hall on July 28, 2010 at 02:38 pm

The trick to Old Spice as with any scent, is to apply just enough that one must be close to get a hint of what you are wearing.

I remember my Father wearing this as an after shave and after a long day at work, when he came home and we gave him hugs and kisses, he always smelled fresh and a little exotic. Clean.

The advertisers have me on this commercial because the actor is irresistible and I just want to touch his tummy and biceps. I don't know the reason, but I do. Go figure.

My husband wears the Old Spice sports deodorant and sometimes the after shave. The hugs I get from him are cosy, clean and still exotic. My guy's an Old Spice Man ... robust and rugged.

Marketing of this product line is a successful one.

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By TonyBerkman on July 28, 2010 at 09:57 pm

According brandweek.com Old Spice's sales have doubled since the launch of this campaign.

Naysayers who have doubted the power of a viral marketing campaign should quiet down and take notice. The amount of $s spent on old media, by public and private companies, is almost willful negligence given the proof that online marketing can generate far superior results for far less investment. The real challenge is the corporate in fighting between Public Relations and Advertising departments who claim that social media is their territory. The result, corporations are confused. Management is terrified. And shareholders pay the price. PR is in the best position to take this role on however traditional ad agencies will not go down without a fight. That is why brands have such terrible results in online marketing, because when ad agencies talk about Digital Media, they are talking about banner ads. Banner ads while a part of an online strategy is a fraction of what is necessary yet advertisers are not good at 2 way conversations. The social web requires a conversation. The huge success of this campaign should embolden executives to stop playing "do whats always been done." They need to wake up and start talking to their customer via blogs, videos and other new platforms. Ad buys online are not enough. Fire your advertising agency and hire a young PR firm who gets what's going on. Not doing it given all the data, is negligent and management of public corporations should be voted out if they fail to engage with consumers.

Too much money is still thrown at 30 second spots and too little time, effort, and creativity is invested in where the customer is.

Most businesses that were around 100 years ago are not around today. The speed of change means that corporations that do not act now, and adapt, and get rid of their traditional advertising mentality, will not even last that long.

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By MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE on July 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

Well, some ladies do not love old spice but new ones once you give some to them. Old spice make a good deal, you know. This article is nice, yeah.

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By Theresa H Hall on August 12, 2010 at 07:31 pm

I keep seeing magazine advertisements with him covered with foam. Very clever.

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