Old Spice Campaign – Could This Be The Best Online Campaign Ever?

old spice brand imageThe Old Spice campaign is insanely brilliant. A man in a towel, filming 30-90 second videos from a bathroom talking to and answering questions of celebrities, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter users has crashed YouTube (though they will not admit to this) and is the buzz around the media outlets. But why? The Old Spice Man has become the voice of the brand and in a matter of a few days and has become an internet sensation. Old Spice is what we are talking about as before our eyes we have contributed to, watched and become engrossed with a man in a bathroom that talks to us. Wow. That is not only powerful it is almost giving “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” a run for its money.

In what started out as an ambiguous tweet has led to an internet sensation:

Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into twitter, or maybe the Old Spice man shows up @OldSpice.

Then at 5:53am the very next day, we were greeted with the first of many videos:

@kpereira Thank you so much for your compliment on my newest commercial film

Old Spice Brand Image

The Old Spice ivory bottle has stood proudly in medicine cabinets for over 70 years. In recent years, Old Spice had, at one point, surpassed Right Guard as #1  in sales of deodorant but even this could not change the Old Spice brand image of being for fathers and grandfathers. The attraction to the younger generation was simply just not there. Consumers connect to and associate themselves with what the brand represents.

By buying, using and wearing they are publicly announcing that they want to be associated with what the brand represents. Can a teenager, college student or even a 30 year old connect with a brand that is worn by their fathers and grandfathers? Do they want to say that they are aligned with that target market? Of course not.  While the these generations are impressionable and have incredible buying power and influence, even if for free, if something is perceived as an old man’s product they will not risk their own image and coolness.

So, the challenge for Old Spice was to change the image and attract the younger generation. This started a few months back with the commercial featuring former NFL wide receiver, Isaiah Mustafa.  He was younger, sexy, hot and through his commanding voice spoke to the ladies about anything is possible if your man smells like him. While this did not change the brand’s image over night, what has developed the past few days, has.

A Brilliant Campaign

The YouTube campaign is more than brilliant. It is like nothing we have ever seen before. They took engagement to the next level. They got the attention of celebrities, news outlets and regular people by simply calling them out and then answering their questions. They made us become creative so that we could get the Old Spice Man talk to us directly. They created the cool kids table that not only gained awareness to the brand but made us want to be a part of it. It is a game changer as with a few videos they gained awareness, listened, responded and engaged. An anomaly in social media.

The engagement with followers has been incredible. The Old Spice Man has spoken to Ellen, proposed to a woman on behalf of her boyfriend, given an award and even told @LisaBarone that he loved her.  He also has committed himself to a long term relationship with @Alyssa_Milano where he sent flowers and a note which were not only hysterical, but begged for more. Well, Ms. Milano took matters into her own hands and upped the ante by putting the continuation of relationship back into the hands of the Old Spice Man by asking for a donation of $100,000 to the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund. Not only smart, (and hopefully we are not being duped if this was part of the strategy) but brings a bit more humanness and meaning to everyday life and how a difference can be made.

Old Spice Customer Sustainability

The campaign is the buzz this week but will that turn into increased sales? I do believe so as when you are hot and on the minds of consumers especially when tied into more traditional advertising efforts (ie in-store displays, shelf positioning and out-of-home advertising) to keep the campaign top of away from the computer will lead to increases sales. The question then becomes, will these be sustainable and long term customers/sales where they have been able to create brand loyalty and are the only choice in the minds of customers or will customers brand switch back to their usual brand? Spikes in the sales are great but sustaining them will be the next challenge for Old Spice.

The campaign will win Weiden & Kennedy a lot of awards and possibly a boat load of clients which is well deserved (and they can send the small biz folks here and I will be sure to share). The creative team took a bit of a risk and in a way it could not have been better scripted. The copy writing for the videos is better than amazing and Isaiah, well, he gives new meaning to “The Situation.” I tip my hat to them.

What do you think? Amazing or just a whole lot of hype over nothing?

photo credit: Water Bowl