Imagine a brand that was lost in the murky depths of your grandfather's shelves, only to rise to the top and conquer the market again. That's the story of Old Spice, the brand that dared to reinvent itself and smash the competition with one simple ad campaign. 'The Man Your Man Can Smell Like' is the greatest comeback we've seen in the marketing industry, made possible with the creative minds at Wieden and Kennedy.
Here's how Old Spice reclaimed its mojo and captured the hearts (and shelves) of a whole new generation.
From Musty to Must-have:
Old Spice, known for its old-school reputation and loyal customer base, realised it was time to shed its outdated image and connect with a younger demographic. But which millennial would buy a scent associated with their father? In a world where competitors were making waves, Old Spice was being pushed into the shadows. A 360° rebrand was necessary. A simple statistic that 60% of men's body washes were purchased by women prompted Old Spice to target women, setting the stage for a successful campaign. This would take Old Spice to new heights and achieve a staggering 125% revenue spike.
The Psychology of smelling good:
Old Spice set out on a mission to captivate not just the men but the women who wanted their men to smell irresistible. Enter 'Old Spice Guy', portrayed by the charming NFL Star Isaiah
Mustafa, who sold a fantasy to millions of women. The campaign tapped into the psychology of desire, presenting Isaiah as the ultimate catch. He was tall, muscular, handsome, funny, smooth, and one can assume that he smelled fantastic. Isaiah Mustafa embodied the ideal archetype of a man. Any man would want to be him. Any woman would want to be with him or with someone who smelled like him.
Old Spice understood that advertising is as much about selling a fantasy as it is about selling a product. The ad cleverly surrounded Isaiah with symbols of luxury—diamonds, yachts, beaches, and white horses, further amplifying the fantasy of the Old Spice experience. The underlying message was clear: smelling good would make men more attractive to women.
Taking on the competition:
Old Spice didn't shy away from direct challenges. When Dove released a campaign during the Super Bowl, Old Spice countered with its own strategic move. Instead of traditional TV advertising, they premiered the ad on YouTube and Facebook right before the Super Bowl. The ad garnered 5.9 million views on day 1, followed by a staggering 20 million views by day three. The ad now has a whopping 61M views on YouTube.
Old Spice's ad unleashed a social media frenzy. Twitter followers skyrocketed by a mind-boggling 2700%, website traffic surged by 300%, and Facebook interaction soared by 800%. But Old Spice didn't stop there. Isaiah was everywhere. From Good Morning America to The Oprah Show, Isaiah's appearances on national television made him America's sweetheart.
Legacy of Success:
Old Spice's genius ad campaign was a game-changer in the marketing world. A brand that is 85+ years old is relevant to this date only because of reinvention. It's only fair we acknowledge the brilliance of Wieden and Kennedy, whose bold moves brought Old Spice back from the grave with a 125% increase in revenue. So, here's the lesson. It's never too late to dust off the cobwebsand breathe new life into your image!