Old Spice's Social Campaign Secured the :30 Spot

Two weeks ago the blogosphere, Twitterverse, YouTube-ville and Internet was abuzz about a long-forgotten, old brand, Old Spice. The campaign that began with a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl hit a crescendo with a real-time social media campaign that involved the Old Spice Man responding to queries from social media users through YouTube videos.

What Traditional Media Did…

Social media is what put Old Spice in the news, but the campaign would have fallen flat without mass media efforts planting the seeds for success.

The television commercials introduced consumers to the Old Spice Man, Mustafa. The character tied back to the Old Spice brand and used a combination of humor and good looks to appeal to men and women alike. People liked him when they saw the commercials, and they loved the idea of being able to interact with him.

How Social Media Made the Campaign Work Harder

Old Spice took the groundwork laid by traditional media and made it take a life of its own online using several strong tactics:

  • Craft an inviting invitation. “Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into Twitter, or maybe the Old Spice Man shows up @Old Spice.” This mysterious invitation had a strong call-to-action to interact with The Old Spice man himself. Ask people to participate and some will. If they like it enough, they’ll share it.
  • Involve those who count. Not everyone online is of “equal value,” so Old Spice reached out to those who had the most influence. With messages directed to Kevin Rose, Alyssa Milano and other celebrities, Old Spice got the online influencers talking. Targeting those most likely to influence the thoughts and actions of others is key to social marketing. Identifying and reaching out to online influencers with a compelling message will get them talking, which will, in turn, get their followers talking as well.
  • Make it matter to the individual. Social media let Old Spice do something the TV commercials couldn’t, personalize the message. It wouldn’t have been nearly as compelling without the personalization. Social media marketing should be personalized. Making people feel special and recognized makes them more receptive to your message and makes others want to be connected with you as well. You may not respond to everyone, but the possibility that you will has a powerful effect.

  • Brevity matters. The Old Spice videos were short, sweet and consistent. The fact that everything was short made it easier to watch, not once but multiple times. Attention spans are short, but keeping your message concise will make it more engaging and more likely to be consumed.
  • Make sharing easy. Old Spice used already established platforms with huge user bases, allowing people to easily consume and share the videos. Using already built platforms instead of crating a new one allowed for familiar rules and settings, making sharing simple. It is necessary to make sharing painless, and it never hurts to invite consumers to do so. Leveraging platforms that people are already used to also helps because they don’t have to learn something before engaging. The engagement starts right away.

Social Media and Traditional Media Can and Should Work Together.

Old Spice did a lot of things with their campaign, but most important for marketers, they showed that traditional and social media work best when they work together. Traditional media can effectively lay the groundwork, but social media can take it to a level with more engagement and a greater level of influence than ever.