In order to comprehend a social media campaign’s power, and “how it can drive ROI” [1], it is imperative to harken back to, perhaps, one of the most successful in history; Old Spice, and how it amassed it’s power.
Before the ‘Smell Like a Man, Man.’ campaign was launched, by Wieden+Kennedy, Old Spice was still a heavy-weight contender in it’s industry, however, during the three months that this campaign was run Old Spice sales boasted a ‘107%’ increase and was also awarded the illustrious ‘Yellow Pencil’ award from the D&AD.

In essence the plan was simple, create a character/mascot, in this case ‘Old Spice Guy’ (Isaiah Mustafa), and have this mascot personally respond to fans messages/comments/tweets/etc. from social media platforms through video responses. The aim here was to generate ‘significant word-of-mouth buzz online and offline’ [2], and ultimately make Old Spice body wash the most talked about brand, in it’s field.

However, this post is primarily constructed to analyse just how big of an impact that this social media campaign had on the organization’s return on investment (ROI). I am pleased to report that Old Spice’s sales exploded exponentially, following the campaign launched with ‘Mustafa’ as the figurehead of the company. Sources indicate that:

  • On day one of the YouTube videos released for the campaign, view reached 6 million people.
  • Old Spice’s website traffic increased by up to 300%.
  • The campaign generated 1.4 billion impressions in it’s first 6 months.
  • Facebook Fan interaction increased by 800%
  • The Campaign Increased sales by 27% each month
  • Establish 65,000 fan base through it’s ‘Response Campaign’
  • By the end of 2010, Old Spice became the number one selling brand of men’s body wash in the U.S.

Despite this, in order to pull this campaign off W+K required a system that scanned social media platforms for any mention of ‘Old Spice’ and placed teams to organize them into coherent questions, concoct witty replies and have the mascot act them out.
Consequently, this entire project was a self-sustaining mechanism. It utilized the ‘crowd sourcing’ tactic to empower the intangible benefits created and thus creating a never ending cycle. The more chatter and traffic occurring on Old Spice’s domains, the more appearances Mustafa would make to embody the company’s reply and wit.

The way that W+K utilized social media for this campaign illustrates their understanding of how important it is and how imperative it was to ensure that the campaign was successful.
Overall, they employed strategic assets in correct places to ensure that their system could; scan social platforms for mention of Old Spice, have writers collate the data and then provide witty remarks to increase customer satisfaction and build strong relationships with them.
In contrast, if the relationship between Old Spice and W+K was anything less than perfect and if the right level of trust was absent, then it would be safe to say that the ‘Smell like a Man, Man’ campaign would not have ended so pleasantly.

However, it has been sometime since Old Spice have given us something as exciting and quirky as this.
Do you think they can hit the nail on the head again?
Or was this just a once off?


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