Sugar, spice and everything nice! Old Spice advertisements have drastically raised the bar on all the possibilities of online marketing strategies. The initial glimpse of the cleaver ad of former NFL athlete, Isaiah Mustafa, using Old Spice was first released during the 2010 Super Bowl where the Indianapolis Colts played the New Orleans Saints. The “Smell Like a Man, Man“ ad used during the Super Bowl was a huge hit, and quickly became the hot topic out of all of the Super Bowl commercials. It soon became one of the most watched videos on YouTube, and ended up being ranked as one of The 50 Best Super Bowl Commercials Ever, according to Bleacher Report. Old Spice is listed as number 20. So why is this ad going viral on YouTube a big deal? This ad alone was not the genius of Old Spices’ campaign, it was the next phase is what is truly impressive.
Once the Super Bowl ad gained a high velocity of popularity, Wieden & Kennedy, an advertising agency popularly known for their previous work with Nike, Honda and ESPN SportsCenter commercials, drew up a new idea of marketing to those who had enjoyed the first Old Spice ad. This idea was inspired when an interesting trend had occurred on YouTube and Twitter — fans asking questions to Old Spice. The idea now was to have a response campaign, by completing a real-time, two-day marathon of video responses to questions asked by fans on Twitter and YouTube—all of which were filmed in Mustafa’s personal bathroom. Any questions that were the most asked or most interesting were compiled, into a total of about 180 questions. This led to approximately 186 personalized videos that were made. A funny example is from the Chicago Blackhawks, who had won the Stanley Cup in 2010. They tweeted, “@OldSpice What would you do on a day with the Stanley Cup?” here is the YouTube personal video response from Old Spice.
The results of Old Spice’s response campaign were astounding! Because all 186 videos were shot in about two days and produced pretty much at the same time, all the videos were able to be posted on YouTube within about 10 to 15 minutes. Millions of people started to see responses to their earlier Tweets and YouTube questions, and the end result was more than 65 million views on YouTube. This singlehandedly made this response campaign “one of the fastest-growing and most popular online interactive advertising campaigns in history,” according to Dandad.org. According to the Effie Awards the campaign was more popular on social media than President Obama’s victory speech:
- On Day 1, the campaign received 5.9 million YouTube views, more than Obama’s victory speech after 24 hours (source: Visible Measures)
- On Day 2, Old Spice had 8 out of the top 11 most popular videos on the web (source:Visible Measures)
- By Day 3, the campaign eclipsed 20 million YouTube views
- And one week post-launch, the work had been seen more than 40 million times
- Twitter followers increased 2700%
- Facebook fan interactions went up 800%
- Facebook fans increased 60% (from 500,000 to 800,000)
- Oldspice.com traffic increased 300%
- YouTube subscribers for the brand more than doubled, increasing from 65,000 to 150,000
- And Old Spice also became the #1 All-Time Most Viewed and #2 Most Subscribed Branded
It is obvious from the statistics of this campaign that it was extremely successful, but let’s take a look at why it worked:
- Knowing when to advertise. Old Spice, similarly to the Oreo Instagram Campaign, advertised during what is considered the best time to advertise or market a brand, the Super Bowl.
- Thinking on your feet. When the first Super Bowl ad, “Smell Like a Man, Man” became popular during the 2010 Super Bowl, Old Spice didn’t let that opportunity slip away. Instead of accepting the success of its first ad, Old Spice prepared to hit its fans again with another “wow” factor with their response campaign.
- Responding in real-time: Once the Twitter and YouTube questions from fans started trending, Old Spice took action quickly and didn’t wait too long to respond. This allowed them to take advantage of the real-time trends, and by doing so they were able to advertise exactly what their fans wanted to see.
- Making it personal: The genius idea of responding personally to nearly 200 fans was almost unheard of. It can be assumed that being treated individually, especially by a large company, made Old Spice’s fans feel very special. Not only that, but it lead to thousands of other people wanting to become fans of Old Spice.
- Targeting beyond your target audience: When Old Spice initiated its, “Smell Like a Man, Man” Super Bowl ad, they wanted to target women because studies have shown that women purchase 50 percent of body wash products. However, the end result was that the campaign caught the attention of both men and women instantaneously – which in advertising history is sited to be a first.
Old Spice has changed online marketing history. Even now, Old Spice has the Today Show talking about its ads which are leaving quite an impression on its fans. Its latest Old Spice Mom Song is stirring up quite the debacle. I think every company wanting to expand its products should take a page out of Old Spice’s book, it would probably smell good too. Next week, we will explore how Kmart hilariously vamps up its social media presence with the, “Ship My Pants” campaign.