Old Spice Guy = Social Media Success

By Erik Qualman

[tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false http://socialnomics.net/%5D

The Old Spice Guy has taken social media by storm. If you haven’t been exposed [no pun intended] to any of this yet, below is a quick summary of what you have been missing.

Old Spice Guy Quick Facts:

  • Wieden & Kennedy created the spots for Proctor & Gamble
  • Role is played by former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa
  • 2 of the :30 videos have over 25,000,000 combined views
  • @oldspice Twitter account has over 90,000 followers
  • Old Spice guy was responding to tweets with personalized video messages [see @NHLBlackhawks Response below]; creating over 180 unique videos
  • Old Spice YouTube Channel was the most viewed in July, 2010
  • 107% sales increase for body wash over July (Nielsen); sales increased 55% over the previous three months

Parodies quickly started propagating YouTube and where encouraged. One of the better ones is this spot from the Harold B. Lee Library Multimedia Production Crew. This production crew consists of two full time employees and ten student employees. View the video below and click here for behind the scenes video of this parody.

Old Spice Guy Answers Tweet from Blackhawks

Love the response in the above video to what he would do with the Stanley Cup for a day [note to non-sports enthusiasts, the Blackhawks won the NHL Stanley Cup this year and the tradition is that each player from the team gets the giant silver cup for one day]. Response was:

“I would fill the cup portion with a health smoothy drink, consisting of explosive missile bits, the spirit of a mountain ram and the tail rotor of an Apache helicopter.”

Kudos to @NHLBlackhawks for submitting such a creative question and garnering more exposure for their franchise. Sadly it appears Old Spice guy will no longer be doing video responses based on the below video:

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10 responses to “Old Spice Guy = Social Media Success

  1. It’s definitely too early to judge the ROI on this investment from a direct sales conversion perspective. Considering the low impressions that most TV commercials receive with the advent of DVRs and HULU Old Spice has garnered a heap of exposure from a younger audience. Their not my Dad’s deodorant any more after the campaign they just aired. I’m not sure if there was a subscriber element to the campaign involving email collection, but if so they can always send out a coupon or store driver promo to convert their new fans to customers. However, I expect that people will organically migrate to Old Spice the next time their on a deodorant aisle.

    • I totally agree with Trudy on the delay in calculating an ROI. She also raises a great point about subscribers. Currently they have 151,718 YouTube subscribers, 100,241 Followers on Twitter, and 746,472 Fans on Facebook. This will seed any future promotions with instant viewership by the people most likely to share it with a friend.

  2. The viral nature of the Old Spice Videos exemplifies the power of social media. However, the biggest challenge is turning the audience into customers. I’m curious as to how Old Spice measures its ROI given the high popularity of the videos and the inability to drive sales.

  3. No Sales, no glory.

  4. Heard an interesting fact the other day. As entertaining as this campaign is, it has done nothing to increase Old Spice sales. The promotions are geared toward women but it seems like women don’t buy these products for the men in their lives. So, from a true advertising perspective, is this campaign effective if it doesn’t generate sales/conversions?

    • Casey Cheshire

      The nature of the campaign is not geared around going out and immediately buying- few would make a trip for 1 product. The campaign is more about raising awareness leading me to expect a more gradular increase. It does raise the question: If viral campaigns have a relatively short lifespan, how does this fair with a branding/awareness campaign? Lastly, it may be targetted to the women shoppers but it is highly popular with men too- who will be quoting the videos for months!

    • Thanks Bethany/Casey/Yarden:

      Great discussion! All are correct and that is what makes some of this stuff “tricky.” I actually used to purchase Old Spice deodorant, but gave it up a few months back, however I plan to purchase it the next time I’m in the market in a few weeks (TMI I know). Hence, sometimes the sales aren’t immediate so often with social media the success is judged holistically and over time. Altimeter Group did a study that showed those companies socially engaged showed an increase of +18% in revenue, while companies that weren’t actively social showed a decrease of -6%. So, time will tell!

      Best, equalman

  5. Heard an interesting fact that as entertaining as this promotion is, it has done nothing to increase Old Spice sales. The ads are geared toward women but it looks like women don’t buy these products for the men in their lives. So, from a true advertising perspective, is it accomplishing anything if it doesn’t increase conversions/sales?

  6. “Look at your campaign, now look at us, now back at your campaign, and now back to us.”

    Great stuff Casey!

  7. The videos were extremely well done- high production value and really funny. I’m MOST impressed with the fact that they responded to many of the comments received. This is the first time in my experience where a viral campaign has engaged their audience with custom made movie responses. Wieden & Kennedy, who created the series, can now boast: “Look at your campaign, now look at us, now back at your campaign, and now back to us.”

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