So what becomes of the Old Spice Guy?

July 30, 2010
old spice guy buzz chart

I guess our jobs just got a whole lot harder, and rightly so. The recent success of the Old Spice Guy’s social media campaign illustrates just how much the world has changed, and how the integration of social media and advertising works to build impact and sales.

The numbers alone are awe-inspiring. Sales of Old Spice body wash products spiked 107 percent in the last month, and the customized video responses from our guy, actor Isaiah Mustafa, have now outreached traditional broadcast TV, becoming some of the fastest videos ever to go viral on the Internet.

Inspired was the campaign, which integrated advertising and social media, and sets the bar high indeed for future marketing efforts. Mustafa’s bombast, coupled with personalized responses to tweets and YouTube comments, including one marriage proposal, gave the campaign just enough camp so as not to insult Internet sensibilities, while obviously reaching the product’s target audience of young, college-age men.

Even before P&G announced its sales figures from the campaign, I still thought the campaign worked on many levels, and argued so here at Gregory FCA. Increased sales is always the objective. But even before the numbers were announced, the campaign was a winner as part of any effort to re-energize the brand, excite a stale sales effort, win more shelf space at retail, and excite buyers at major chains by demonstrating an ability to create awareness on a national basis.

But now comes the really tough part: extending the lifetime of the campaign so as not to be relegated to one-hit wonder status. No doubt the minds at P&G are already busy at work figuring out what to do with this gorilla who happily sits in their room.

Interestingly, there are already signs that the impact is waning, an all-too-real fact of life in the short-cycle world of social media. A quick study we conducted using the Nielsen BuzzMetrics brand monitoring and analytics platform shows that chattter about the campaign is falling faster than an anchor in choppy seas. Just take a look at the graphs below. (You can click to enlarge.)

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