@OldSpice Raises the Social Media (Shower) Bar

4 Ways Old Spice Turned Social Media on It’s Head

As of July 13th, Old Spice is no longer your grandfather’s brand. Towel clad, Old Spice posted its entry onto the social media stage with queries to sites like Reddit. From there, the Old Spice campaign starring hunk Isaiah Mustafa,  gained momentum while gathering friends and followers across the social media ecosystem. With over 180 amusing videos on YouTube’s third biggest branded channel, Old Spice is destined to become 2010’s social media darling. While more marketing is required across channels, this campaign has given Old Spice the velocity to build its redefined social media savvy brand image.

Here’s what Old Spice did that helped turn a good marketing campaign into a great break-through one:

  1. Allowed real people drive content creation and direction. One of the biggest social media challenges that businesses face is figuring out what to discuss and to present it to make their content remarkable and viral. In the process, the Old Spice man while literally responding to tweets and questions in real time incorporated the following social media savvy:
    • Portrayed knowledge of the people to whom he was talking like Kevin Rose of Digg. His comments weren’t empty marketing speak.
    • Leveraged influencers with big followings such as Ellen Degeneres and my friend, social media rockstar Peter Shankman.
    • Chose talkable moments including a wedding proposal.
  2. Integrated social media usage across platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Reddit. Unlike many marketing campaigns that cross post information, Old Spice’s campaign reacted to comments on Twitter and other social sharing sites with YouTube clips taking platform integration to a higher level.
  3. Maximized participation impact by setting a limited time period. While social media campaigns are known for being on-going dialogs rather than point-in-time advertising, Old Spice changed the rules in a way that worked without leaving followers feeling disappointed. Hey, after all it was staged in a bathroom and even teenagers have to emerge sometime! (Mustafa’s farewell on Twitter)
  4. Spoke directly to media brands like Huffington Post using its YouTube videos rather than through conventional media outreach. Media buzz around the campaign extended to traditional media like ABC where Mustafa gave President Obama advice on Good Morning America via skype.

As a marketer, you may think that this can’t work for your products without being a copycat campaign. While that’s true, you can apply the campaign’s essential lessons to your offering. To create a remarkable campaign like Old Spice, once you understand social media and interact on its terms bend its rules to your advantage to make your brand stand out.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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