3 things you don't know about Old Spice's success

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Hello marketers. Look at your marketing. Now at this Old Spice campaign. Now back at your marketing. Now back again. Sadly, your marketing isn't the Old Spice campaign. And guess what? Even if we want to switch to the Old Spice campaign strategy, few of us will ever have the resources for that kind of effort.

Certainly the sheer avalanche of digital bits spilled over this campaign must have the folks at Wieden + Kennedy (the agency responsible) bursting with pride. And why shouldn't they? By all accounts, this is a breakthrough campaign. The first ad -- "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," launched online and bolstered by a television campaign -- garnered more than 2 million online views in its first two weeks. By the end of spring it had approximately 11 million views and now stands at 18 million.

If for some reason you've been living under a rock for the last six months and haven't seen that one, here it is:

The success of that ad prompted the W+K team to produce a sequel to the commercial. Thus was born "The Response Campaign," where the agency produced 186 videos of Isaiah Mustafa, the "Old Spice Guy," responding to tweets and Facebook updates from social media influencers -- such as this one to George Stephanopoulos.

This is really what's been getting all the attention lately, and by all accounts this part of the campaign has been a huge success. Some additional statistics from the W+K case study:

  • 186 video responses
  • 5.9 million YouTube views on day one
  • 2,700 percent increase in Twitter followers
  • 300 percent bump in traffic to OldSpice.com
  • More than 1 billion impressions across all of the different channels

And, despite some early naysayers, the entire campaign has had a clear impact on sales. According to Nielsen data, overall sales for the body-wash products are up 11 percent over the last year. They're up 55 percent in the last quarter. And in the last month (following "The Response Campaign") sales are up 107 percent.

So, OK, life is good. The agency is happy. The client is happy (at least we hope).  But what else should we know about this campaign?

Well, in his book, "Outliers," Malcom Gladwell discusses the "10,000 hours" idea, explaining that in order to become "expert" at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of deliberate work at it. This is often used to debunk the myth of the "overnight success."

And after a little digging, it seems clear that we need to -- ahem -- splash some cold hard reality on the "overnight viral success" that is the Old Spice campaign. It was, in truth, a three-year, expensive, and intricately structured integrated campaign that has peaked with a breakthrough performance.

So, here are three things that you probably didn't (but should) know about the campaign.

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Comments

Angi Kelley
Angi Kelley August 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Excellent point that it's not an overnight success. In this economy people want instant gratification. Unfortunately marketing success isn't instant. And therefore, it's not cheap either.

Kevin Conway
Kevin Conway August 26, 2010 at 8:55 AM

"Living under a rock"? Yeah like we got nothing better to do? Oh Please , get a life!

Kevin Conway
Kevin Conway August 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

"Living under a rock"? Yeah like we got nothing better to do? Oh Please , get a life!

Kevin Conway
Kevin Conway August 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

"Living under a rock"? Yeah like we got nothing better to do? Oh Please , get a life!

Kevin Conway
Kevin Conway August 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

"Living under a rock"? Yeah like we got nothing better to do? Oh Please , get a life!

Kevin Conway
Kevin Conway August 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

"Living under a rock"? Yeah like we got nothing better to do? Oh Please , get a life!