One of the perks of working in the field of social media is that you get to pretend that you’re working and learning while watching hilarious videos of a good-looking guy in a shower. You know, the Old Spice guy in the shower, the guy who used to work in shark dental care and rides lions as a hobby?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about (i.e. have been hiding under a rock etc.), Old Spice launched a campaign that combined twitter, YouTube and a bit of facebook that took the web by storm. The campaign included some planned commercials that set the stage for the manly-manliness of Old Spice Man, and then a series of real-time videos made in response to people’s tweets on twitter and comments on facebook and YouTube. Here’s the original video launched in February which attracted 19 million viewers (this video was actually shot in one shot with minimal computer graphics):
A few weeks ago Old Spice Man returned with this commercial:
What’s so great about Old Spice Man?
- Old Spice Man – actor Isaiah Mustafa is just amazing. He gets the message across perfectly.
- The writing – the lines Isaiah says are brilliant. I mean, how great is a campaign that ends with the line “silver fish hand catch”?
- Multiple channels – the campaign is coordinated across multiple social media channels, utilizing each channel’s advantages and cross posting as required. Twitter is used for direct conversation, facebook for posting videos and status updates with longer text and accompanying responses by fans; and YouTube for centralizing the video content.
- Appeals to men and women – For example, I can’t stand beer commercials which are obviously targeting men, but this campaign appealed to both sexes which is good for a product like Old Spice body wash, which men use but women often probably buy.
- Combines traditional and new media – these videos are commercials, a type of advertising that has been around for decades. But the commercials have evolved to take advantage of social media by using the medium’s potential. Creating new videos in real time is not something you can do with TV; also, the very personal style, and personalized videos (he spoke to his daughter, and helped a guy propose marriage, and even answered his own question), are very social media. But commercials are old media and we’re seeing the two come together here.
- Personalization – how fun is it to get a personal video message from Old Spice Man? Thousands sent tweets and comments his way in the hope that he would respond to them, and getting a response was like winning the lottery. In order to create these videos, marketing agency Wieder + Kennedy’s team worked at a furious pace, creating over 180 videos in 24 hours!!
- Old Spice Man is a nice guy – many attempts at creating viral media involved tricking people into believing what they were seeing is real, or being mean to others in some way. Old Spice Man is just nice, and cool. He makes us laugh. It’s a refreshing.
This campaign was a hit, with over 180 videos created, over 5.9 million views and 22,500 comments, as reported by Visible Measures. Visible Measures also reports that it is one of the fastest growing online video campaigns ever. Even once the videos have ended, people continued the trend. Reddit users created Old Spice Voicemail (with female and male versions), and some students at Bingham Young University created the a knockoff video encouraging people to study in the library.
Is this the future of social media marketing?
This is not the future of social media marketing. These guys created a groundbreaking campaign, but if companies copy this model, it will get stale. No one will enjoy this level of success because no one else can be first. Because when it comes down to it, success in social media is about creativity and originality, breaking out of the box and grabbing our attention. The next roaring success will have to be something else that’s never been done before.
- Old Spice Mixes Social Media And Web Ads, Forbes.com
- Old Spice: The Archetype of a Successful Social Media Campaign, Mashable
- The making of Old Spice’s commercial: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, Twit video with Leo Laporte
- How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made, ReadWriteWeb
- New Spice | Study like a scholar, scholar, Harold B. Lee Library