Adam T. Sutton

Powerful Viral Video from Old Spice

Old Spice wrapped up a phenomenal viral marketing campaign this week that significantly leveraged social media channels, just as MarketingSherpa published our 2010 Viral and Social Marketing Hall of Fame.

What started as a funny Super Bowl Ad featuring a spokesman with an over-the-top ego and a penchant for manly nonsense turned into millions of views on YouTube this winter. The agency behind the ad, Wieden+Kennedy, followed up with additional videos, but the effort didn’t stop there.

For two days this week, the agency posted dozens of video responses to comments on Old Spice’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Every response is a unique, hilarious video of the Old Spice spokesman, actor Isaiah Mustafa, standing in a towel in front of a shower.

The videos are steeped in the same humor as the initial ads — supplying dozens of additional videos to an audience that expressed a strong craving for them. They also gave the campaign an exciting, real-time creative edge by directly interacting with the audience and quickly churning out videos.

To further the campaign’s reach, the team posted video responses to celebrities and other folks with major online followings, including:
o Perez Hilton — celebrity gossip blogger
o George Stephanopoulos — ABC News journalist
o Gizmodo — technology blog
o Alyssa Milano — American actress
o Kevin Rose — founder of Digg and other startups

Responding to these gatekeepers with personalized, high-profile and hilarious videos proved flattering enough to earn mentions in their respective media outlets. This brought the campaign to new audiences, further building the viral snowball.

Iain Tait, Global Interactive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy, told Kai Ryssdal on American Public Media’s Marketplace that the effort “certainly makes people kind of consider Old Spice in a new light again. And that has certainly been brought out in some of the conversations that we’re seeing online.”

With such a stunning viral success, where does the campaign go from here?

UPDATE 7/28: The campaign is proving to be a smashing success. Nielsen reports sales of Old Spice Body Wash increased 107% over the past month and 55% over the last three months, according to Brandweek.

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Branding, Consumer Marketing, Viral Marketing



  1. July 28th, 2010 at 20:21 | #1

    I went gaga for this viral effort, and not just because it was so cool – but because Old Spice successfully has evolved their brand to speak to a whole new generation of people. They have performed the elusive magic trick of making an old brand relevant to a new generation. Knowing what makes your brand tick, why it offers value and who your target audience REALLY is deep down in their soul (and consistently communicating that message through everything that you do) is how you build a successful brand – or rebrand successfully. My new book, Branding Basics for Small Business, talks start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs through a simple 10-step process to start answering those tough questions – BEFORE they spend a dime on a viral marketing campaign or other endeavor. Old Spice did their homework, built a groundswell and stayed the course for their new brand strategy – and that’s why it’s working. They didn’t just throw something out there on a whim. So many businesses are looking at what they did with envy, but I hope their reaction is not to go shake down their own agency and say, “Do that for us. NOW!” They need to figure out the messages, differentiators and benefits for their own brand and how it connects to their own target audience. Then they can figure out which tactics to employ and which levers to pull to get a great return on their investment and efforts. Kudos to Old Spice!

  1. July 18th, 2010 at 08:40 | #1
  2. November 9th, 2010 at 12:38 | #2
  3. November 9th, 2010 at 16:12 | #3