Old Spice: can new media really wash away that “old man” image? 2


NMA Viral Brand Chart There’s no arguing that Old Spice is an iconic brand, and with it’s recent viral video campaign the brand has generated a phenomenal amount of buzz across global social media platforms.

In fact an Old Spice video sits in the Number 1 spot on this week’s NMA Viral Brand Chart, and the campaign occupies 6 spots in the top 10. Pretty impressive stuff… but will all that “buzz” translate into sales of Old Spice at the checkout?

I have to say I have my doubts… and according to a recent Times News Feed post early indicators are that it won’t. Sales of Old Spice body wash are down 7% despite the huge popularity of the latest campaign.

Old SpiceThe videos were innovative, entertaining and eminently shareable. Creating personalised reply videos to prominent social media “influencers” was a stroke of genius, as was extending that strategy to encompass ordinary online folk. The Old Spice guy even proposed on someone’s behalf.

But appreciating humorous videos and sharing them with your online friends is one thing… walking around smelling of Old Spice is something else entirely.

Old Spice is still… well, Old Spice. It conjures up images of old men in barber shops, the Christmas present you wish you’d never opened, and, let’s face it, the memory of excruciating pain when you stole a bit of your Dad’s aftershave after your first try with a razor. Ouch!

Was the campaign successful? In terms of reach, popularity and pushing the boundaries of viral video, undoubtedly. In terms of turning that buzz into tangible ROI… perhaps less so.

And lest we forget… Old Spice is no stranger to iconic advertising. Could anybody who lived through the 1970’s forget this classic TV spot?

Classic Old Spice Advertising

About Calvin

Calvin Jones is a Content Marketing specialist and Web Copywriter. He is co-author of Understanding Digital Marketing and The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World, and helps client to connect with their audience through harnessing the power of strategic, engaging content.


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