in Digital & Social

Observations on the Old Spice Campaign

Old Spice’s “Old Spice Man” campaign may just be a precursor of advertising and brand engagement efforts we can expect to see in coming years. The campaign, orchestrated by Wieden+Kennedy, started off with a TV commercial in the winter which garnered attention from notable bloggers and celebrities, and received numerous views on YouTube.

On Tuesday, the Old Spice Man became a social media sensation, with videos uploaded to YouTube featuring the character responding to people’s comments and questions from Twitter, Facebook and other Internet sources. A few of the videos were filmed in advance, featuring Old Spice Man’s responses to comments on the original commercial, however the majority were filmed on the fly – sometimes within thirty minutes of someone submitting a comment or question.

Approximately 180 videos were created over two days. At last count, Old Spice’s Twitter following had increased to over 70,000, and most of the videos were downloaded over 100,000 times. There were also a couple of hundred news articles on the initiative, and no doubt numerous mentions in other media. It has been an amazing viral marketing campaign.

There are many things worth mentioning about this effort, here are a few that come to mind:

  • Mass and digital media can work beautifully together. Old Spice firmly established the character in the TV spot, there was already a strong degree of familiarity prior to the social media blitz.
  • Blogger and celebrity outreach planted some of the seeds for the viral nature of this campaign. It was smart to create videos mentioning influential bloggers and celebrities who were already fans of the TV spot – no doubt they became bigger fans, and again let their networks know about it.
  • The videos were FUNNY and ADDICTIVE. Viewers, myself included, were compelled spread the word, sharing with their friends and followers.
  • Old Spice Man is a very likable character, one that people are easily able to gain an affinity for.
  • A handsome guy with sex appeal. Women have an influence in 80% of all purchasing decisions, including men’s grooming products. Many men aspire to be like him. Enough said.

I’m curious to see what Old Spice’s next steps will be, given the large following that has been garnered. How are they going to continue to engage the social media community they have built?

Another question on ponder, do people like the Old Spice brand or just the campaign itself?

I’m also interested in the processes and metrics that are in place to evaluate success. Will there be a sales lift? A measured increase in brand affinity?

Lots of questions asked, and some valuable insights already gained. What are your thoughts?

  • http://sundaralife.blogspot.com Liv

    lol i love old spice that's all i buy for hubby. this is just icing on the cake!

  • http://twitter.com/SSGCorp Social Solutions

    For me as a consumer there is nothing in the advertising that wants me to purchase their products. Also the whole fan fare about the situation is completely annoying. I'm sure it has lots of impressions but there is little connecting between the videos and direct business results. They don't really focus on why I should even buy the product. It is the same Old Spice that stinks 😛 nothing new here!

  • Thomas Stringham

    These ads are very cool, ad Old Spice is showing their marketing savvy with huge budget increases that are coinciding with the outburst of WK materials. It's a perfect storm when creativity gets not only backing from a client, but a several hundred percent increase in resources to execute it.

    Check out this article in NYT this week: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/business/medi

  • ebuchegger

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment, I really appreciate it! There seems to be a lot of debate on social media ROI at the moment. Arguably, it can be difficult to link a campaign to direct business results from many campaigns – whether leveraging new media or traditional media. However, I read an interesting post today on Forrester's blog that takes a more holistic approach, taking the following into consideration:

    1. Financial: Has revenue or profit increased or costs decreased?
    2. Brand: Have consumer attitudes about the brand improved?
    3. Risk Management: Is the organization better prepared to note and respond to attacks or problems that affect reputation?
    4. Digital: Has the company enhanced its owned and earned digital assets?

    It remains to be seen whether Old Spice will experience a sales lift, although I suspect they will. Regardless, at least according to Forrester, they seem to have hit on at least three of four measurement criteria.