Old Spice’s Viral Social Media Drives Sales

31 Branding Effectiveness Questions

Towel-clad Old Spice stepped onto the social media stage on July 13th to help reposition your grandfather’s very vintage Old Spice brand as a social media savvy, hip, iconic brand. Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice hunk who’s eye-candy for women, starred in over 180 YouTube videos extending his 2010 Super Bowl ad role. In the process, Old Spice generated over 35 million YouTube views placing it third in  for its sponsored channel subscriptions (For a complete scorecard of Old Spice’s views to-date, click here.) Even more amazing is the immediacy of sales results since branding campaigns typically take at least a year to show results; overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 107% in the last month, according to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice (see Adweek article.)

This Wieden+Kennedy branding campaign has become 2010’s viral social media success story, creating significant marketing opportunities for the Old Spice brand going forward.

31 Questions to determine branding effectiveness

With any marketing campaign, it’s important to measure results against its goals to determine campaign success. Here are 31 questions to help assess the branding effectiveness of your social media efforts.

  1. Target market. Did the campaign increase awareness in key target markets? Did it have an impact on influencers such as women, who aren’t product users but who users want to impress?  Did the campaign reach prospective users?
  2. Brand sentiment. Did the videos change viewers’ feelings about Old Spice? If so, how did brand perceptions change? Was this in line with campaign goals?
  3. Purchase intent. Did the videos result in increased buyer likelihood to purchase Old Spice products? Did this campaign change time-to-purchase?
  4. Loyal fans. Did the campaign reinforce a positive perception of users who feel an affiliation and affection for the brand? How do prospective buyers feel about the brand?
  5. Brand status. Did the campaign transform the brand making it an icon? Did the brand’s reach become part of the culture?
  6. Line extensions. Did the videos’ branding impact extend to other Old Spice products like aftershave?
  7. Market share. Did the product and/or brand’s market share increase? Branding campaigns may take at least a year to yield results.
  8. Competition. Did the campaign have an impact on direct competitors’ sales? Did it cause changes in the category? Old Spice even spoke to Gillette.
  9. Social Media Including Video

  10. How many people viewed the videos? How many videos did each person view? How much of the videos were visitors viewing? (For additional video data, check here.)
  11. Did the videos attract comments? If so, what sentiments were expressed?
  12. How did the videos trend on YouTube? How do these videos compare to previous successful campaigns like “Will It Blend?
  13. How many viewers shared the videos?
  14. How many people followed or became a fan/liked Old Spice on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms? Adweek reported that, according to P&G, in the week following the real-time push, Old Spice had 90,000 Twitter followers and over 675,000 Facebook fans while fan interaction increased 800%!
  15. How many people tweeted or commented on Facebook about the campaign? What specific words were used? What was the sentiment of their comments? This reflects viewer engagement and willingness to enhance social status by sharing.
  16. How many people engaged directly with the brand-posed questions, what questions did they ask (and what kind of questions?), and why did they ask? One man proposed via the videos.
  17. Which social media platforms did they use? The Old Spice campaign started on Reddit. This is important since it expands the marketer’s reach and your audience may not be active one specific site.
  18. Did the campaign reach influencers, that is people with large social media followings? Old Spice spoke directly to popular icons like, Perez Hilton, media entities like The Huffington Post, and social media gurus like Digg founder, Kevin Rose.
  19. Did the campaign reach trending status on any major social media platforms? This rank translates to additional reach. On July 13th to 14th, Old Spice was a trending topic on Twitter.
  20. Did the videos result in parodies? If so, how did they reflect on the brand? Here’s one from Brigham Young University.
  21. Media

  22. How many media mentions did the videos generate? Did these mentions link to Old Spice’s videos, Facebook page, Twitter page, and/or website? If so, what was the impact on organic search results?
  23. What type of media picked up the story of the campaign and what was the entity’s reach? Did traditional media, like television, cover the story? For example, Mustafa spoke to Good Morning America via Skype showing his technical savvy.
  24. How many people tweeted, shared, or commented on campaign-focused articles? What was the sentiment of this commentary and how did it position the product?  Across media, articles focused on the Old Spice campaign have garnered lots of tweets and attention.
  25. Did the media engagement related to your campaign extend to talk and comedy shows? If so, how was the brand portrayed?For most marketing campaigns, the proof is in the financial metrics. The reality is that sales must be tracked over an extended time, especially for branding campaigns.
  26. Financial Indicators

  27. Revenues. What were sales for the promoted product? In Old Spice’s case, how did other products under the brand umbrella such as aftershave, shaving cream and deodorant perform? Were sales measured over time? The first Mustafa ad appeared during the 2010 Super Bowl. What was the sales trend before the campaign started? If its sales trajectory was weak, are current results better than anticipated? How does this compare to prior month and last year’s sales?
  28. Marketing expenses. How much did this viral campaign cost including all of the related marketing expenses such as the branded YouTube site, the Facebook page, Twitter page, as well as related personnel and other costs? How do these expenses relate to other branding campaigns on digital and offline media? Were there any PR expenses such as press releases?
  29. Other expenses. Did the campaign have other costs due to incremental technology and server capacity  needs? Remember that it’s important to assess these hard-to-track costs.
  30. Headcount. Were additional personnel, direct staff and/or consultants, required to handle the campaign and its complexity?
  31. Profitability. How did this campaign impact the product and brand’s profitability?
  32. Investor relations. Did this campaign have any impact on perceptions of the company as a whole, its stock price, and/or investor perception?
  33. Other factors

  34. Did the branding campaign provide any other product opportunities such as the ability to cost-effectively create and/or rollout another related product under the same brand umbrella?
  35. Did your campaign have any unexpected impacts? If so, what was it and did it help the brand? For example, Isaiah Mustafa boosted his own level of fame in the form of a role in movie with Jennifer Aniston.

While every marketer wants to create the next viral hit, it’s important to bear in mind that a branding campaign, particularly when it’s repositioning a well-established brand with the word “old” in its name, must focus on building awareness and purchase intent. Once you’ve done this, how do you capitalize on your brand’s increased awareness and repositioned image to contribute to your marketing success going forward?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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