Tune in to this episode of Will It Stick, with Alexis and Melissa as they break down the craziest brand stunts and campaigns. In this episode, they take a look at the advertising campaign that transformed Old Spice from a brand for our grandfathers into a viral sensation with serious ROI
Join Alexis and Melissa as they take us back to 2010, imagining being in a boardroom at Procter & Gamble, where the Old Spice team found themselves in a dilemma. For decades, their advertising strategies and market had remained the same, focusing primarily on 40-60-year-old men. Realizing the strategy was outdated, they began to assess market trends and realized they had to start hitting the millennial market.
Before getting into the big campaign, we get a look into the history of the brand. The first Old Spice product was actually a women’s fragrance, quickly followed by Old Spice for men in 1938. In 1990, the brand was purchased by P&G and introduced new products. Millennials were the largest consumer demographic for personal care products but gravitated to the brand Axe instead. In 2010 as a last-ditch effort, P&G decided to take a chance and invest in renewing the old brand. They hired a marketing firm Wieden+Kennedy, who really understood that the customers they were after were in fact… women.
Wieden+Kennedy came up with the slogan and campaign “The man your man could smell like” and the first commercial featuring the Old Spice man appeared in 2010. They knew that some of their competitors, like Dove, could take away major market share from Old Spice with their new men’s care line. Instead of just airing the campaign during the Superbowl, Old Spice decided to release it a few days prior on Youtube. The commercial went viral instantly and became the #1 viewed brand on the platform.
In an attempt to further sink their competitors, they had one more trick up their sleeve. They developed a response campaign for the social media chatter, urging their followers to submit questions for the Old Spice man to answer. The winners would receive personalized public video messages from the dream man himself. The campaign again was an instant success, totaling over 125 million views to date. Airing the campaign on Youtube allowed for a two-way conversation and increased engagement amongst younger generations.
Old Spice experienced incredible sales increase and had become the top brand for men’s body wash in just one year. So many brands began to try replicating their stunt without success. It brought new life into the brand and introduced a totally new market. In 2021, Old Spice reintroduced a new generation of the Old Spice man.
It goes without saying that the campaign to rebirth Old Spice was a huge success. The image of the Old Spice has stuck around in the minds of many! In today’s time, integrative advertising is really the key to a successful campaign.
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Watch the original Old Spice man commercial here.
Check out Better Marketing’s article here.
Check out The Fast Company’s article.
P&G’s very own campaign data.
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