Brand Reinvention: Not Your Daddy’s Old Spice

Growing up, many of us recall the fragrance Old Spice that our dads wore. For some 71 years, Old Spice has been a staple on the shelves of mass market retailers and drug stores.

In order to stay relevant, Old Spice has evolved into the digital age. With an ambitious YouTube media campaign and a robust Twitter and Facebook presence, this is not the same Old Spice that daddy or even grandpa once wore. The Old Spice channel on YouTube consists of over 100 videos. At last count, two of the Old Spice videos accounted for over 27 million views. On Twitter nearly 100,000 tweeple follow @OldSpice, while on Facebook over 720,000 have checked “like” to connect with the Old Spice Guy.

Who could have predicted the re-invention of Old Spice? A scent that had been associated with old men is now making a huge come back. Among the comments that can be found on discussion boards and Twitter streams are:

“Please help me, I am thinking about using it (Old Spice).”

“Hi dude, Old Spice is lovely!”

“I love the Old Spice Guy, he’s fantastic!”

“My guy could smell like that!”

“Old Spice its been years but I’m wearing it again. I feel spicy & old! I want my own ad to play on TV for my wife & everyone.”

As reported in BrandWeek, Old Spice sales have grown dramatically during the YouTube campaign. This finding is further substantiated by scanner data reported by SymphonyIRI. Whether the Old Spice Brand was under former parent company Shulton or current parent P&G, video advertisements have contributed to its success. Advertisements that ran in 1957 and 1971, and currently running in 2010, show that video has evolved from black and white to color television to YouTube. Brands that are under performing should take note. Old Spice is a great case study on the application of viral marketing to reinvent a brand needing rehabilitation. If only Hai Karate had known!

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