Capitalizing on Previously Created Buzz: The “Old Spice Man” Strikes Back

In the last few days, the Old Spice man struck back. But who is the “Old Spice man”? The “Old Spice man” was an integrative part of what could/should be considered as one of the best ad of the 2010 year (see below), logging more than 13 million views on YouTube.

The “New” Concept

The concept following-up the February 2010 Old Spice ad includes more than a single ad as it consists of a single ad similar to to the original one (see Should your man smell like an Old Spice man?) and multiple YouTube videos answering back comments related to the February 2010 ad posted on social media platforms by either well-known personalities (e.g Alyssa Milano (see below), Ashton Kutcher) or users with a large and influential network. Was the strategy new? Not really! Answering back comments from individuals considered as “important” is an old and primitive strategy. Was the tactic used new? Yes it was! Using YouTube to answer back these comments can be considered as new, at least in North America.

Capitalizing on Previously Created Buzz

As previously stated in my post entitled Demystifying Viral Marketing – 7 Myths of Viral Marketing: “viral marketing campaigns should be considered as long-term strategies that should be used to attract new users and propagate awareness”. In this way, the February 2010 ad created buzz, and capitalizing on this previously created buzz was brightly executed using a new tactic.

The Next Step

Once again, as stated in my post entitled Demystifying Viral Marketing – 7 Myths of Viral Marketing: “one of the fundamental objectives of viral marketing campaigns is to gain a larger database [and to] turn [users] into loyal users (consumers)”. Thus, the next step for Old Spice would be for sure to turn this “buzz” into customer loyalty.

The Old Spice man in the February 2010 ad
The Old Spice man in the February 2010 ad


Bringing back the “Old Spice man” using a new tactic was certainly a bright idea for the Old Spice brand! However, once users know about the tactic used, would it be a bright idea for another company to use the same tactic? Absolutely not! The buzz was there for mainly two reasons: (1) because consumers perceived the tactic used was new, and (2) Old Spice capitalized on previously created buzz. Thus, using the same tactic would be redundant. So what do you think of this Old Spice tactic?


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6 thoughts on “Capitalizing on Previously Created Buzz: The “Old Spice Man” Strikes Back”

  1. I love contrast in communications between Old Spice vs. Axe. Both take very comical angles to the positioning of their brands. The Old Spice guy seems to have developed a cult following but Axe Game Killer (produced by BBH) is still among the craftiest commercials out there. Do you know which agency has the old spice account?

  2. When I watch these, I can’t help but think they are sort of knock-offs of the Most Interesting Man in the world.

  3. Hey thanks for both of your comments Bob. I totally agree that the Old Spice vs. Axe fighting match is getting more and more interesting to the marketers’ eyes. I still think that Old Spice is suffering from a followers’ disadvantage in terms of creativity, let’s see if these two ad campaigns this year will reflect in positive pocket effects.

    By the way, Wieden + Kennedy got the Old Spice account. Lol for the “knock-offs”.

  4. I just came back from the drugstore to buy some useful goods and at the same time I bought some new deodorants. Since the Old Spice package for the same format where at $3.99 compared to $6.99 for Axe, I bought Old Spice. I must admit I would have picked the Axe one if the difference would have been a dollars or less. Good marketing mix strategy, mixing advertising campaigns with promotions that looks like “dumping”, this looks as arrogant as the “Old Spice man”, hahaha.

  5. Hello ladies! I think those videos were GENIUS, to use Alyssa Milano’s word! I agree with you, the tactic used was new and very effective. The quality of the videos, the quick release of them and the same humorous tone in every personalized response, all those elements were impressive. Take a look at this very interesting article, to see how the Old Spice videos are being made: . Here is a quote from this article: “the primary differentiator between this campaign and others is how closely technical and social media specialists are working with the creative team”. After this successful campaign, I’m sure the social media experts will gain credibility and companies will change the way they work with them, to create more innovative viral marketing tactics.

  6. Hey thanks for your comment Mathieu and thanks for sharing the links, I liked it. However, I must admit I read the ReadWriteWeb article too, before writing this post, great description of the importance of synergy between teams involved in the process, something that is “unfortunately” neglected in many advertising campaigns due to poorly executed coordination and time constraints. Social media experts are sure winners of this type of advertising campaign but one of the issues they should absolutely take care of is to continue to find out “once again” innovative tactic using social media websites, which is not easy. Furthermore, even though I must admit that this advertising campaign is a win in the public’s eyes, what really matters for “Old Spice” is to get their money “back” from this advertising investment in the long-run, at least they generated some awareness for sure.

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