Case Study on Successful Viral Marketing Of OldSpice

4 Min Read. |

old-spice-company-logoAbout Old Spice

OLD SPICE – is a leading American brand of grooming products for males. Procter & Gamble acquired the brand in 1990 from Shulton, Inc., which was the original producer of Old Spice. After its acquisition, Proctor & Gamble constantly made efforts to change the brand’s earlier image of ‘a product your grandfather would use’ to ‘a product for the youth’ by targeting men with the age group of 17-35.

Business Objectives:

Brands like AXE & DOVE were quite popular as compared to the relatively outdated Old Spice. In order to increase their market share and sales in this highly competitive environment, they needed to create a buzz.

When it comes to advertising, Old Spice seems to have done everything right when they brought in the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy. They revamped the entire brand image to appeal more audience. Also, despite the product’s target market being male, as a part of their marketing strategy they wanted to target females, as according to them its women who often make purchasing decisions in respect of hygiene products even for male household members.

Strategy Adopted 

In February 2010 they came out with their campaign commercial ‘the man your man could smell like’ that featured former NLF star Isaiah Mustafa as the “Old Spice Guy” who can be seen addressing the viewers in prompt monologues which promoted the advantages of using the brand’s products. While reciting the monologues the Old Spice Guy does various extraordinary activities and yet maintains an eye contact with the camera. This commercial was funny, unique and grabbed the attention of the viewers.

Another campaign “Questions,” was launched in early June 2010, which again got good reviews from consumers and industry experts.  By this time the Old Spice Guy had become very popular among the masses.

To further build buzz, they launched a Response campaign where Old Spice invited consumers to submit questions via social media channels like Twitter and Facebook that were to be answered personally by the Old Spice Guy.

Questions were sent by more than 2,000 people and within the short span of 48-hour about 200 personalized video responses were created and posted to YouTube. The “response” videos have been viewed more than 46 million times making it one of the fastest growing and most popular campaigns in history.

Result Achieved:

Below is the result of the continuous marketing campaign:

The Response Campaign generated nearly 5.9 million YouTube views in the first day alone which is more than what Obama’s victory speech had achieved in its first 24 hours. This number grew to over 40 million by the end of the week. During this same period their Facebook fans rose 800 percent—from 500,000 to 800,000 while Twitter followers increased by 2,700. Meanwhile Subscribers to the brand’s YouTube channel increased from 65,000 to 150,000 which is more than double.

The launch of “Smell Like a Man, Man” ad led to an incredible rise in sale. And the Response Campaign grew the brand even further. Sales were up 125 percent year on year by the end of July 2010. Old Spice had become the top-selling brand of body wash for men in the United States by the end of 2010. Also, brand’s website traffic increased by 300 percent .Today, Old Spice remains the number one brand channel on YouTube.



The company has also done an amazing job creating social media buzz through Facebook by frequent online promotions and status updates for keeping the audience engaged, resulting in average 1,000-2,000 “Likes” on every new update.

Today, when it comes to online marketing, Old Spice is at the top of the ladder by using web analytics to collect data and to increase their customer experience.


Lessons learned from their marketing campaign:

  • Make concise videos

Generally internet users ditch lengthy online videos. If you have to post a video on Youtube make sure that it is not too long. Old Spice ensured that their videos were snappy and not more than one minute long.

  • Let your presence be felt everywhere

Marketing on varied multi-media channels using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube ensures high number of target audience is reached and distribution is widespread. By creating and sharing ads on online channels such as Youtube you get to reach out to a larger number of crowds unlike the traditional offline videos.

  • Build connection by getting personalized

Interact with the audience to keep them engaged and build a relationship. The marketing team of Old Spice responded to tweets with 116 Youtube videos and the audience was amazed with the real time responses. Further those who were lucky to get response from the Old Spice Guy, wrote about it on other social media networks. Hence again brand got promoted online by the user.

  • Be creative

Marketing strategy used by Old Spice was absolutely creative and genius. Who could have thought that a male grooming brand would successfully create a large fan base amongst the female viewers? This is simple yet unconventional approach towards creating a wider audience. 


Viral Marketing is another digital marketing strategy that is highly capable of creating brand awareness and recognition along with boosting sales and conversions.

Thus, being a part of Digital Marketing, it can elevate your business growth if used optimally. To understand the complete manner in which Digital Marketing can help you grow, enroll in our Certified Digital Marketing Master Course.

Image Credits: Old Spice

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