If you ever doubt that viral marketing works, consider just how tired you got of seeing Isaiah Mustafa’s “Smell Like a Man, Man!” videos that kicked off at the Super Bowl and peaked sometime during the summer. The Old Spice brand is back, just in time for your kids’ Christmas-buying convenience.
But that Mustafa swagger – it’s just SO-oo last week. Or is it?
Now, fresh from the storyboards at the Children’s Television Workshop suite, the hype is revisited as everybody’s favorite monster – Grover – promos “Smell Like a Monster!” The animated parody even drew mention from Procter & Gamble exec Marc Pritchard when he addressed the 100th-anniversary meeting of the Association of National Advertisers
in New York City last week.
Pritchard is a global marketing and chief branding officer for P&G, owner of the Old Spice brand, which has benefited mightily from the 140 million YouTube viewings of “Smell Like a Man, Man!” and its various spinoffs and parodies. It is, in fact, the most-watched sponsored YouTube channel ever.
The campaign boosted the number of Old Spice followers on Twitter from fewer than 5,000 to a number now approaching 120,000. Social media, he said, gives “everyone a microphone … (to be) part of the conversation about our brands — good, bad or indifferent.”
Added Pritchard: “We are at the start of one of the most exciting eras in brand-building history.”
The legitimate Old Spice series, created by Wieden+Kennedy of Nike fame, is one of those special efforts that has taken on a life of its own – the very definition of viral marketing. It has its own Wikipedia entry. and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial. Granted, P&G provided the Mustafa spot with gargantuan support via its multi-billion dollar ad budget. But the rewards were equally gargantuan: The campaign has accounted for well over a billion impressions, according to MediaDailyNews, and has become the top-selling body wash brand in the United States.
4 Social Media Marketing Tips Learned from Old Spice
So, what can we learn from the Old Spice experience, besides the value of an unlimited ad budget and a PR/Social Media operation that could have made George Patton a millionaire on endorsements?
- Well, first of all, humor – well done and in palatable portions – can be a strong incentive for “likes” and “shares.”
- Don’t be sensitive if someone out there steals your thunder with parodies or even blatant ripoffs; there’s plenty of thunder to go around. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, in the case of viral marketing, is an integral part of any successful program … just make sure none of the imitators are competitors, who have a built-in reason to wish you ill.
- Be sure to focus on ways to make brand identity, features and benefits shine through all levels of copywriting and creative efforts.
- Follow up one successful idea with sequels. You’ve got a built-in market of viewers who saw your first effort; if they like you, they’ll carry the load in making sure others are in on the joke.
Filed under: Brand Loyalty