Posted July 28, 2010 5:31 pm by with 6 comments

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old_spice_isaiah_mustafaSometimes an ad for a product is so clever that you remember the ad but not the product. Not so with Old Spice’s new “Smell Like a Man, Man,” campaign which went viral earlier this year. According to a Nielsen report which was noted in Brandweek, sales of Old Spice Body Wash have jumped 55% in the past three months and 107% this past month.

“Gary Stibel, CEO and founder of The New England Consulting Group, said his data also shows a lift for Old Spice. “We think that Old Spice is up. We don’t think it’s up in the double digits, but it’s up meaningfully, and we think it’s driven 100 percent by marketing.”

What’s not measurable is how much help the campaign had from the news coverage it received. Type “Old Spice” into Google news and you’ll find more than 2,000 articles have been written by everyone from Business Week to MTV to. . . us. If P&G had bought ad space on all of these publications, the cost would have been astronomical, but now they’re a part of advertising history and that is, to quote another ad genius, priceless.

The “Old Spice Guy”, Isaiah Mustafa, is now on his way to becoming a movie star with a role in Jennifer Aniston’s new movie. Now that’s how you breath new life into an old brand.

  • I remember borrowing my Dad’s Old Spice when I was a teen! It just goes to show that when these viral marketing campaigns take off they can be low cost and very successful. The web is getting clogged with such ads now though, and it’s only going to get worse.

  • Elena C.

    …yet Old Spice’s sales are down!

    • Cynthia Boris

      The new survey’s say they’re up, plus this quote from the same Brandweek article

      “Since the ‘Smell Like A Man, Man’ campaign broke in February, Old Spice has month-over-month strengthened its market position,” said Norton in an e-mail. He added that Old Spice is now the No. 1 brand of body wash and anti-perspirant/deodorant in both sales and volume with growth in the high single/double digits.”

  • Are the sales figures of a product directly proportional to the quality of the marketing


    does the quality of the product play a part?

    If Old Spice doesn’t smell nice, nobody will buy it whatever

    • Cynthia

      Quality certain effects long term sales, but I’m not sure it really matters when it comes to spikes. A good campaign can sell anything. Look at Pet Rocks. Look at Beanie Babies! There was a point where people were literally attacking others in order to get the newest on the shelf.

      Sadly, quality isn’t always the first thing people think about when they decide to buy something.

      • Absolutely true

        Do McDonalds make the nicest food?
        Is Coca Cola the nicest drink?
        Is Old Spice the best aftershave?

        Perception is everything and fashion plays a big part
        If you can convince the King that the alltogether is a fine suit of clothes you will become very rich

        Please tell me if you find out how to do this