In today's world of fractured audiences, a successful television ad is simply not enough. Brand managers want to see that their campaigns have legs online, in print and on TV. This week, Procter & Gamble ported its popular Old Spice Guy commercials to the social web. 

The result? Oh, about 11 million views in three days.

Advertising agency Weiden + Kennedy worked with Procter and Gamble to create the now iconic TV spots of actor Isaiah Mustafa explaining how regular dudes can “Smell like a man, man."

This week, Weiden + Kennedy assembled a group of techies, marketers and writers to create 183 YouTube videos starring Mustafa and addressing individuals on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The team also wisely targeted social media using celebrities and bloggers.

According to ReadWriteWeb:

"The group seeded various social networks with an invitation to ask questions of Mustafa's character, a dashing shirtless man with over-the-top humor and bravado. Then all the responses were tracked and users who contributed interesting questions and/or were high-profile people on social networks are being responded to directly and by name in short, funny YouTube videos. The group has made videos in response to Digg founder Kevin Rose, TV star Alyssa Milano (now big on Twitter) and many more people, famous and not."

Perhaps unneccessarily, Old Spice also purchased a Promoted Tweet to help with the campaign. Why? Because people love this approach. As Videogum put it:

"Well played, multi-million dollar corporation. You get what you want, AS USUAL."

Iain Tait, Global Interactive Creative Director at Wieden, tells ReadWriteWeb:

"In a way there's nothing magical that we've done here. We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we've also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time."

And Old Spice Guy has gotten incredible feedback online, including a love letter/video from Alyssa Milano. A small crink in the plans could be that Milano took the game to a new level. The "Who's The Boss" star has challenged the Old Spice Man — or rather his employer, Procter & Gamble, to donate $100,000 to National Wildlife Fund.

How will Proctor & Gamble respond? Perhaps they won't. The final video shows Isaiah Mustafa signing off: "Like all great things, this too must end...SILVERFISH HANDCATCH!"

Well played, Old Spice, well played.

Meghan Keane

Published 15 July, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (5)

Robin Grant

Robin Grant, Global Managing Director at We Are Social

You can see where that 11 million views figure came from and get more detailed analysis on the Old Spice campaign here:

about 8 years ago

Meghan Keane

Meghan Keane, US Editor at Econsultancy

Thanks Robin. I meant to include that link. The post is updated now.

about 8 years ago

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

11 milion views in 3 days :-o Fair Play. Amusing Old Spice being fashionable again...

about 8 years ago

Mike Essex

Mike Essex, Marketing & Comms Manager at Petrofac

Wow 183 vidoes is quite a target in such a tight time frame, but the results certainly speak for themselves. Especially for a product not often seen as a young brand.

about 8 years ago


Bangalow Accommodation

A good example of a corporation getting SM right. Old Spice being re-kindled is funny though. Taking Retro to another level.

almost 8 years ago

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