Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Old Spice, New Marketing.

So, it’s finally time for my take on the awesome ad campaign that was “The Man Your Man can Smell Like” (with corny blog title and everything!)

So, for a quick review, here’s the ad.

Ahh man, Isaiah Mustafa, you are hilarious. 

So the success of this ad is two parts.  The first is a simply being a good commercial; it was smartly targeted, and very very well executed.  The second is how they capitalized on the success they were getting. 

Step 1:  Be Funny.

So, who was this ad aimed at?  Well it was aimed at women first and foremost, and then younger ‘hip’ men (aka the internet crowd).  I say women first because the entire commercial is Mustafa with his shirt off.  We all remember the AXE commercials with copious amounts of scantly clad women.  Most women don’t pay attention to that, but Mustafa is eye candy and it makes them listen.  But the most important thing is the humor.  I really want to know how many takes they did, or if Mustafa is really just that good at spouting awesome bull.  The whole thing was quick and precise and it used old Hollywood magic that keeps you watching to figure out how they did it or if it was done in a single shot. 

Step 2:  Be quick to respond and actually respond!

Now with over 40 million hits after the first week, the marketing team for this NAILED it.  They didn’t let up one bit; they started responding to people making comments about this video.  This is absolutely brilliant because that got MORE people talking about it.  There’s an estimated 1.4 billion impressions through the whole campaign.

So the key to this whole campaign was interacting with the people you’re targeting. Mustafa and crew produced 180 videos throughout the campaign most of them targeting celebrities and other people tweeting about the ad and then subsequent response videos.  Hell one guy even used Mustafa to propose 

This is a change that has to be noted.  The most successful marketing campaign in recent history was so successful because it interacted with its audience.  Welcome to 2011 people.  This is the age where when media is directed at you, and cannot be interacted with, it’s not worth sitting still for.  

The interesting thing about this campaign is how well they managed to interact with their audience with out crossing that ‘creepy’ line or come off as too strong.  They kept the humor outlandish and fun, and people kept coming back to see what new responses were being made. 

So, to wrap things up, the Old Spice campaign is a prime example of how powerful interacting with your audience can be, and producers of media (any media) need to start considering how customers will interact with their media and how to best capitalize on it.  It will be really fun to see how this shakes up the industry, because a 107% sales increase (in the month of July) because of a witty deodorant ad is something to talk about.  


  1. We talk a lot about this kind of thing in my media classes. How the new generation is so engaged with media that in order to reach them, advertisers (as well as news organizations, the film industry, radio, everyone) have to play on their level. Just seeing an ad won't do it for people; there's the three quality exposures guideline that says that a person needs three exposure to an ad where they pay attention to it and think about what it's saying before it will actually penetrate and you'll be likely to buy the product.

    So advertisers are doing remarkably well, sometimes, in getting the attention of people. This ad was probably played over and over for people, and every time it came on the TV, I'm sure people paid close attention. Old Spice got their exposures. But they kept going and allowed a sensation to become as big as it could be. Smart advertising. Now to see if they'll come up with other campaigns like this, or if their success will dwindle.

  2. I can't remember if it was played over and over on TV (it was a Super Bowl Ad) but I KNOW it reported over and over on every online new thing because it was clever and the youtube became such a big hit.

    I kinda think the viral ability of this ad will be stale now. I really don't think Old Spice will be able to come up with something nearly as successful. I could be wrong but I imagine that if they do become successful again, it will be well after someone else had their turn.