As you now know, I love the Old Spice branding campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa, because all of the elements are funny, smart and speak effectively to its audience. But has the approach worked to increase sales? After all, it is product sales that keep Mr. Mustafa and his chiseled abs around to entertain us.
According to AdWeek and Brandweek, who reviewed data from market researchers Nielsen and SymphonyIRI, the Old Spice campaign has helped Procter & Gamble significantly increase sales of its “man-scented” body products.
Nielsen reports that sales of Old Spice Body Wash have increased by 11 percent within the last year. The speed at which overall product sales have risen since the campaign started in February is even more striking. According to Nielsen, sales increased by 55 percent within the last three months and really jumped by 107 percent within the last month.
Now that we know the campaign worked to increase sales, we can explore how it actually happened.
1. Effective advertising.Wieden + Kennedy is to be commended (and they have by earning several awards) for creating ads that communicate with the target audience with creative messaging. These ads made people laugh, so they told their friends and shared online links to the commercial. This helped consumers rethink the Old Spice brand.
2. Leveraging social media to the nth degree.Wieden + Kennedy didn’t just take their witty commercials and slap them on their website and YouTube, then declare victory. They compiled a team of experts in advertising, marketing, writing and social media to leverage Mustafa and his towel across social media in a way that communicated with the brand’s target audience. This team camped out in a studio for days responding via video to tweets, Facebook messages and YouTube comments from fans in real time and posting them for the public to see. In true “Old Spice Man” fashion, these videos were funny, ridiculous and entertaining. This kept the brand top of mind and raised awareness among the target audience.
3. Brand consistency. The Old Spice Man and his witty bravado are not relegated only to the TV screen. His face and style permeate the Old Spice website and product packaging, as well. This helps consumers connect what they have seen on TV with what they see on their computers and the shelves.
4. Time frame. Old Spice executed all of these steps within a perfect time frame. The commercials and social media endeavors weren’t hard and fast, but they weren’t drawn out either. This helped keep consumers engaged and interested.
5. Brand attachment. All of these elements led to people wanting more of the Old Spice man and his brand of humor. Reddit.com created a voicemail generator without involving Procter & Gamble at all. Now you can have the Old Spice man in your voicemail and help raise brand awareness on behalf of the company. While part of me thinks that Old Spice should have thought of this themselves, I also think that this involvement by an outside organization lends a certain amount of credibility to the brand’s popularity.
Hopefully, this won’t be the last of the Old Spice Man. I hope we see him in more commercials and social media interaction. I hope his burgeoning acting career does not take the Mustafa out of the Old Spice Man.
What do you hope to see next in the campaign?