Old Spice: The Man Your Content Could Smell Like

July 14, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Social Media

[Update: EEE! Old Spice Man read our post and sent me a personalized video of my own. Check it out on YouTube or see the embedded video below.]

The stars, they align.

Yesterday we chatted about the lack of remarkable content on the Web and the “good enough” ideology that’s been adopted. I argued that your brand was worth more than polished crap, while some insisted that you don’t need a Rolls Royce to get to the grocery store. In the end, a couple of commenters suggested that I be happy with the low standard of Web content because when so many people under-produce, it helps those focused on remarkable content stand out even more.

Two words: Old Spice.

It started yesterday with one cryptic message from the Old Spice Twitter account that read:

“Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into twitter,” it read. “Or maybe the Old Spice man shows up.”

The result was amazement.

There was a mass halt in productivity on the Web yesterday as all eyes were on the Old Spice Twitter and Old Spice YouTube account. On Tuesday, Old Spice man Isaiah Mustafa began collecting questions posted at him on sites like Twitter, Reddit, Yahoo Answers, etc, and answered them with immediate YouTube video responses. All in all, Old Spice wrote and created more than 115 different video responses. And they were consumed like candy.

The content Old Spice created yesterday wasn’t “good enough”, it was remarkable. It set the bar for the kind of social media campaigns that companies can launch on the Web and encouraged brands to be better.

Why was the Old Spice campaign so remarkable? Grab a pen.

It was all done in real-time

The genius of yesterday’s campaign was that users could submit questions to the Old Spice man and, within minutes, watch a video response to their question. The immediacy of the campaign drew people in and had them sitting at computers all afternoon watching the Old Spice Twitter page update. We wanted to see what he was saying now and see if OUR question had been answered. It broke down that third wall and showed us that Old Spice was listening, in the moment, and that they heard us.

It created personal connections

Old Spice did something social media experts recommend to brands all the time – they made personal connections with influencers. They reached out, by name, to prominent media, celebrities, news outlets and and common folk who should be aware of Old Spice, addressing them with personalized messages that they’ll remember. There was no mass emailing here. The responses were carefully written to address each person individually. The video made to Alyssa Milano dripping with Who’s The Boss references? OMG, awesome!

You can’t watch just one

If you were living under a Rhea rock yesterday and haven’t seen any of the videos, you’re gonna want to block off some time to catch up. Because they’re completely addicting. And the fact that you can’t watch just once is what MAKES them viral. You can taste the fun the writing team is having with these and you want to see what’s coming next. You almost feel like you’re missing something by NOT viewing them all.

They got the media involved

This was really, really smart. Many of the videos Old Spice created were directly in response to media outlets. By doing that, Old Spice ensured that the media outlet not only saw what they were up to, but it gave them an ego-charged reason to share it with their own audiences. And from there, the media swarm snowballed. Old Spice created videos targeted at (links go to individual response videos. No charge.) Perez Hilton, GQ, Gizmodo, The Huffington Post, Twitter’s Biz Stone, Digg’s Kevin Rose, Guy Kawasaki, The Ellen Show, and many others.

Here’s a taste:

It’s fun

The reason this campaign has worked is because users are enjoying watching the videos. They don’t see them as “marketing” or Old Spice’s attempt to sell to them. The content is so good remarkable that users simply like consuming it. Media and celebrities are tripping over themselves simply trying to be part of it. That’s the difference and what makes it remarkable.  Audiences have fallen in love with Isaiah’s character and they’ve become invested in the brand.  They want to be part of it and support what Old Spice is doing. And that’s going to translate into increased sales.

What is the immediate result of Old Spice choosing to create remarkable content instead of “good enough” content?

  • The Old Spice YouTube Channel is the fourth Most Subscribed to sponsored channel of all-time and the third Most Viewed sponsored channel of all time.
  • In the past 24 hours they’ve received media coverage from every major news outlet under the sun
  • They’ve interacted with the Web’s top influencers
  • Old Spice keeps bringing down YouTube.com [that’s power!]
  • People are invested in the campaign, in Isaiah and, best of all, Old Spice.

It’s going to be really interesting to see the full brand awareness numbers come in as this continues to grow over the next few days. Be aware that thought the early adopters watched it unfold in real-time yesterday, it will take a day or two for “regular people” to really become aware of the videos (and Old Spice isn’t done yet!).

Not too long ago Old Spice was a brand that was largely forgotten or something that was worn by your father. This weekend, watching the latest commercial (embedded below), my boyfriend asked me if he should switch over to Old Spice. The momentum Old Spice is creating goes beyond just “silly Web videos”. They’re using remarkable content to capture brand awareness, eyes, and in the end, sales.

UPDATE: Old Spice Man says he loves me!

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