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Old Spice – The Sweet Smell of Social Media Success

Jul-22-2010
B Y  T Y R O N E  P A R D U E

I remember Old Spice aftershave in the late 70’s. It conjures up images of the Cutty Sark rolling around on foamy waves and a mustachioed middle-aged swinger, with shirt unbuttoned and gold medallion peaking out from under tufts of chest hair, liberally splashing on the scent.


This month, that old brand – Old Spice – changed social media marketing history forever. It achieved 5.9 million YouTube views of its 180 brief commercials. And when I say brief, not only are they all under 60 seconds, but they were all shot within 48 hours… all 180 of them.

The concept is a development from the ‘Old Spice Man’ Super Bowl commercial from earlier this year created by legendary advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. That earlier commercial was a smashing success on Super Bowl night and since then has been viewed on YouTube over 13 million times. Not only did it drive record numbers of visitors to the Old Spice YouTube page, but also generated massive traffic on the Old Spice Facebook and Twitter pages growing the company’s Facebook fan number to 655,940 at last count.


In a master stroke of viral strategy, Old Spice posted a simple question to it’s followers on Twitter: “Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into Twitter, or maybe the Old Spice Man shows up!” And as it turned out, it wasn’t just an ordinary day. Old Spice Man did turn up allowing fans to ask him questions directly, live online. A massive drain on bandwidth was created as literally hundreds of thousands of fans scrambled to interact with Old Spice Man and to watch their answers appear within hours. All kinds of folks like housewives, husbands, boyfriends, traveling salesmen, teachers and sports enthusiasts as well as celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Perez Hilton got in on the action.

While Old Spice have declined to reveal specific statistics on the effect of all this on sales, they did say they have experienced a “nice bump in sales.” And I must admit that while in the grocery store the other day I was tempted by the newly packaged Old Spice deodorants and purchased the “Fiji” scented stick because Old Spice Man said it makes him “smell like tropical sunshine and FREEDOM.”

Now I don’t feel any more ‘free’ than I did before wearing this new deodorant, but I have noticed that my wife seems to be hugging me more.

Check out the Old Spice Videos Here >

Tyrone Pardue © 2010