Old Spice’s Scented and Spiced up Social Media Strategy

“Hello ladies,
Look at your man, now back to me
Now back at your man, now back to me…”

Does that ring a bell somewhere? Yes, you sniffed that right, I was hinting to the viral video series rolled out by Old Spice featuring mirror-cracking Isaiah Mustafa. I know the company has an impressive Facebook presence, an active Twitter account, a happening YouTube profile and a lively blog…They know social media is needed in a marketing plan.

But it is this viral campaign that suffuses with a breath of not only fresh but scented air that has had the entire World Wide Web (or should I say ladies) wanting for more…And while I may not know how good Isaiah Mustafa actually smells, Old spice’s social media campaign smells absolutely abso-freaking-lutely brilliant! When a bunch of their funny and piquant videos can garner more views than President Obama’s victory speech, what more do they need? Their Internet Marketing pie not just sells but profits them too!
Viral Video News Chart

What’s in Old Spice’s Viral Videos?

Brainchild of ‘Wieden+Kennedy’, Old Spice’s videos are not just wittily written but wittily presented by chisel-chested Isaiah Mustafa. There is no pompous promotion, nor any overt instruction to grab an Old Spice Body Wash; yet there is a factor that successfully catches attention and conveys the message. So, when Isaiah says something like…”Don’t smell like sunsets and baby powder. Smell like jet fighters and punching”, it adds a double punch by poking men (bringing in humour with a tinge of manly insult) and swaying women. Hic!

Smell like a Man Campaign

The ‘Smell like a man’ campaign with Mustafa saying, “I am on a horse” helped the company in reviving its almost dead image. The videos were circulated on television and Internet like wildfire and voila! Nobody thought viral videos can create such a groundbreaking promotional effect! Quite a rebranding exercise, yea?

The return of the Man your man could smell like campaign

As a follow-up, Old Spice rolled out The Return of the Man your Man could smell like campaign which features Mustafa on a motorbike instead of a ‘horse’. It won terrific applause.

The Response Campaign

‘The Response’ campaign was equally (or rather more) efficacious. In essence, it is an impressive set of over 180 videos wherein Mustafa answers 180 different questions put up by fans on Facebook, Twitter and other networks. And what’s astounding is the fact that these videos were recorded in just two days! OMG, isn’t it?

The questions put up by fans are hilarious and the way Mustafa answers them is all the more hilarious. And this specifically reminds me of two video responses – One where he proposes a girl on behalf of a guy and second where he answers his own daughter’s question. The response campaign underscores the commitment of the company not to indulge in pompous promotion but to engage with people candidly.

Viral Video News Chart 2

Old Spice’s secret to SMM success

No blatant promotion

Not even in a single video do you find Mutafa saying something like, “Buy Old Spice body wash today to get 35% off!” or something like…”Buy Old Spice Body Wash and enjoy a trip to Singapore”…And still the videos manage over 5.9 million views! As Old Spice says…”We are not saying this body wash will make your man smell into a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot…but we are insinuating it.”.

And that’s the way how Old Spice has been doing it all the way – On Facebook, Twitter, Youtube – everywhere! Some may argue that such a type of promotion does not translate into a purchase directly but it is the awareness that precedes sales. Old Spice is creating awareness by way of this well-thought promotion and it’s working for them, so they say.


I must say I sincerely feel like dropping a question on Twitter to be answered by Mustafa! Imagine, how wonderful it will be…We all have heard it but Old Spice did it. They struck personal connections with their fans and followers.

Adding humor and fun

I for one, found Old Spice’s videos to be nothing short of addictive. After one, I was tempted to watch the other and on and on…They are oh-so-funny and beautifully written.

It’s unique

The viral video campaign by Old Spice can be called quirky. Now, of course, many brands would like to steal it, but before Old Spice, it was no-one who ever did it this way.

Did it boost their ROI?

The talks of Old Spice’s sales having been dropped by 7% may have been sailing around but don’t buy such premature talks, PLEASE. I don’t claim to be an insider/ affiliate of the company but that’s pretty logical – the drop relates to the one year period ending 13th June, 2010. However, the first video in the ‘The Response Campaign’ was released  on 12th July, 2010. There is no way the drop can relate to the ‘Response’ videos. Furthermore, the drop relates just to the ‘Red Zone After Hours Bodywash’ and not collectively to all Old Spice products.

Here’s what I pick from Digital Buzz
After the Response video series shot with Mustafa’
– sales increased by 27%
– In the 3 months after the campaign picked momentum, sales were up by 55%, reaching 107% in the final month of the social media campaign.
– Old Spice is now the number 1 body wash brand for men

Video Views Comments

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Considering the success of Old Spice’s social media campaign, I guess a video is worth ten thousand or maybe a million words!

This guest post was written by Ricky is a technophile & a zealous blogger/ evangelist for www.wickedleo.com. He has a strong impulse to spread bits of web tech & Internet Marketing wisdom that he picks from his own personal experiences.

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