(Old) Spicing It Up

There is no doubt that this summer’s biggest heartthrob was the Old Spice Guy.

The commercials were hilarious. And they would have been enough. But then the geniuses behind Old Spice guy took it up a notch and blew us away with their response campaign, making short YouTube video responses to personal messages, including tweets. It floored everybody. Well done, Proctor & Gamble, well done.

And the results? Social Times tells us that “Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign was the fastest growing interactive campaign in history.” The videos have been viewed an infinite amount of times and Old Spice’s social media followings have grown exponentially—but aside from all this “interaction,” the company can also boast real results: “the brand’s sales are also up 107%, making Old Spice the number one brand for men’s body wash.”

W+K, the agency on the job, knew that women make more than half of all body wash purchases and realized it was time to speak to them. Old Spice guy spoke directly to the women (“Hello, ladies.”) who were buying the flowery body wash for the family and suggested they might want to consider letting their man smell like a man—or better yet, like a towel-clad dreamboat.

There are some incredibly talented people behind this campaign, but the basic concept has been around for a while. What the Old Spice guy team did was follow the advice that social media experts have been trying to pound into our brains: Engaging with an audience is way better than just talking at them.

Now one thing is clear: Old Spice is no longer just for old guys. Obviously Old Spice guy #2 is too much to expect for book campaign, but there are some lessons to learn from that guy on a horse.

  • Social media does reach audiences so invest time and money in it, and recruit experienced talent. Reclusive authors and interns do not count as social media experts.
  • Virtual interaction can go a long way. If you can’t tour an author there’s still a lot possible other than review mailings, and maybe, just maybe, tours aren’t always the most effective tool for every book anyway.
  • Know your audience, really. With women doing the majority of the body wash purchasing, you can’t afford to exclude them in a campaign for men’s body wash. So if your book is going to be gifted to someone it’s important to create awareness with people who will buy that gift, not just the receiver of the gift. Then add your own version of the response campaign for the reader to add value.

SWAN DIVE! into the best marketing campaign of your life.

I’m on a horse.

Social Times piece by Megan O’Neill on the campaign’s success.

W+K’s case study video on the Old Spice Guy campaign.

Because the videos are always fun to watch, here is the Old Spice YouTube channel.

An informative piece on the campaign on Read Write Web by Marshall Kirkpatrick.