According to recent research by Yankee Research, 70% of consumers want to interact with their favorite brands and companies online, but only 30% of those brands are capable of handling it. Lucky for that 30% though, there is precedent and plenty of successful companies and campaigns to lead the way. Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice campaign, “Smell like a man, Man” is one of them. A 2010 case study by DataMonitor hails it the “ultimate case study” in social media and viral marketing. The Old Spice Campaign was so successful because of several factors, including the move away from traditional print and TV ad placements, the interactive nature of the campaign that appealed to consumer tendency to use social media, the creative content of the campaign and the use of the campaign alongside traditional media to “emphasize” their message. This helped to create the ever important two-way dialogue with consumers and build trust in the brand.

The reason for the sudden change of tactic? Media consumption patterns have changed; According to the article, digital media spending was predicted to surpass print spending in terms of company budgets. P&G’s Old Spice brand has been on the market since the 1930’s and was facing an “old-fashioned” reputation. Naturally, a brand redesign was in order, birthing the “Swagger” and “Smell like a man, Man” campaigns. The “Swagger” Campaign featured the idea that the scent would give the wearer masculine qualities and appeal to a younger demographic of men who want “Swagger.” The new image was coupled with an interactive website and print ads featuring celebrities such as LL Cool J. It quadrupled sales and the website gained over half a million hits, proving to definitely be a smart social media practice for the brand.

“Smell Like a Man, Man” began with paid for TV ads that focused on the “manly” qualities of the scent and NFL star Isaiah Mustafa. The TV ads were also hosted on YouTube for consumers to watch, but was also paired with a dialogue on twitter and a “marathon” ad-making sessions in which Mustafa starred in 186 personalized Old Spice videos on YouTube. The YouTube channel was the number one most viewed sponsored channel, and Old Spice gained more than 80,000 Twitter followers and 630,000 fans on Facebook.

Procter & Gamble clearly rose to the challenge and successfully reinvented a dying brand through the use of social media. The brand was able to reach their specific target audience, create viral videos that became earned media for the company, and engage in a conversation with many of their consumers as is evident by their willingness to create personal videos for fans. In an industry that is lacking in stellar use of social media, Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice is able to quickly rise to the top through simple media practices.

In a 2012 Article from, “Five Strategies For Promoting Your Online Video,” author Andrew Follett discusses ways for businesses to make a viral video campaign, such as the Old Spice campaigns, popular and effective. A video that people want to share will earn a brand more attention and traffic than a boring product with high production value but no interest. Follett suggests keeping the video short, funny, and tied in with current trends. This best optimizes chances for success. He also suggests making the video easy to share and embed and having a promotional plan in place to initially get the video online. It is important to optimize the video so that prospective customers can easily find it. If promoted the proper way, small ideas and funny videos, as evident by Proctor and Gamble’s Old Spice, can completely rebrand a product and earn huge media success.

-Jen Parravani


~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 30, 2012.