Old Spice: Viral Video Genius
The aim of social media videos ‚Äď as with any promotional tool ‚Äď is to provide viewers with something of interest that grabs their attention and keeps them coming back for more. Old Spice harnessed the power of consumer sharing to make a real connection with people on a mass scale.
The body wash market has been on the rise and Old Spice needed a boost. It was discovered that women make over half of all body wash purchases, so Old Spice decided to target men, as well as their ladies for the first time. In order to do this effectively, Old Spice had to answer two questions: How to get couples to have a conversation about body wash, and how to persuade women to buy Old Spice instead of lady scented body wash for their men. The answer was ‚ÄúThe Man Your Man Could Smell Like‚ÄĚ campaign. It was launched online first, then aired during the 2010 Super Bowl. Old Spice continued to make targeted media buys in areas where couples would be watching together, in order to fuel buzz. The video grew in popularity, likely due to increased press and brand recognition. In the first three months after the Super Bowl premier, the brand captured 75% of all conversations in the body wash category. The targeted media buys were successful, as women generated over half of this buzz. The videos drew in 110 million views for the brand and helped make the product appealing for a younger audience once again.
The difference between Old Spice and other brands using these same mediums was their follow-up strategy. Overwhelming success of the first video campaign made an encore performance obvious. Old Spice wanted something more engaging. They had to figure out how ‚ÄúThe Man Your Man Could Smell Like‚ÄĚ could have a conversation with his fans on a more intimate, personal level. The answer was ‚ÄúThe Response‚ÄĚ campaign. A team of creative digital strategist, developers, producers, and social media experts came together to execute the campaign. They seeded various social networks with an invitation to ask questions of the Old Spice Man, and then created personalized monologues, delivered by Isaiah Mustafa himself. Responses were tracked and monitored and the users who contributed the most interesting questions or who were high-profile people on social networks, were responded to directly and by name in short, funny videos posted to YouTube. By targeting people directly, it appealed to their egos and encouraged them to spread the videos further. Even people who were not responded to spread the videos because it was an engaging experience that they were excited to be a part of. It became the fastest growing and most popular interactive campaign in history. It received 5.9 million YouTube views on the first day and in one week, the video had been seen over 40 million times. To this day, Old Spice sales have been increased by 107%. This campaign has cemented Old Spice as the number one brand of body wash for men.
The main lesson to learn from the success of Old Spice‚Äôs viral video campaigns is to turn advertising into ‚Äúcontent‚ÄĚ that is easy to share and enjoy. It is important to reach people on a personal level in order to drive engagement. Old Spice has and continues to be very successful in its viral video endeavors.