What do corn dogs, lions, eagles, laser beams and anchor tattoos have in common? They are all included in the cover photo on the Old Spice twitter account.
In 2010, Old Spice found themselves struggling to market their deodorant for the younger generation. Proctor and Gamble, Old Spice’s parent company, took a gamble when they introduced the now famous “Old Spice Man” campaign, featuring a buff guy on a horse. Bizarre, absurd, and memorable soon became words inevitably tied to the Old Spice brand.
Since then, Old Spice has found success in a number of viral campaigns across platforms. With 224,000 Twitter followers, 496,288 YouTube subscribers, and almost 300 million total YouTube views, it’s hard to deny the viral power of Old Spice.
Here are just a few ways Old Spice gets marketing right.
Short and Simple
Did you know 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube in a single minute? But there is only so much people can watch. A reporter for Business Insider claims that most promotional videos on YouTube should aim for about 90 seconds or less. All of Old Spice’s videos hit this mark but still manage to convey the key message: buy Old Spice.
Short videos are also quicker to develop and produce, which brings us to the next point.
Lots of Content
Often times people stress quality over quantity, but sometimes quantity can be just as important. Old Spice throws out a ton of inexpensive, brief content rather than spending lots of time and money on a single ad. This means Old Spice can constantly be releasing new material and staying fresh in people’s minds. Furthermore, they release content across multiple platforms, rather than investing all their money in TV slots.
To put this into perspective: Degree Deodorant goes months without posting new videos and when they do, the view count hangs below 20K, sometimes barely hitting the 1,00 view mark. Old Spice releases multiple YouTube videos a month, with many garnering millions of views.
Funny and Memorable
Here at Media Shower, we often bring up that emotional content gets more shares. Old Spice relies on wacky humor to get people’s attention. Their absurd style is unique and part of their brand identity. And it works. By making viewers laugh, Old Spice videos elicit positive emotions and are more likely to get shared.
Funny videos also mean viewers get something pleasurable out of watching these ads, which helps us forget they are ads.
Content Worth Consuming
With content marketing, we stress making sure the content is useful. In some cases, this means explaining how your product might be good for the customer. But Old Spice is not concerned with informing you about how their product won’t stain your little back dress. Instead, Old Spice provides useful content because it is enjoyable.
These videos, ads, and tweets are funny! Even if you removed Old Spice branding, these videos are still strange and interesting enough that they would still go viral. A video about the benefits of deodorant would not. Old Spice attaches their brand to exciting content, rather than making content all about their brand.
Know the Medium
Take a look at the Old Spice Twitter. You’ll find lots of brief, nonsensical tweets that read more like something from a comedian rather than an antiperspirant. No one wants to Retweet a bunch of Hashtags about hygiene product, but people do love to share jokes and witticisms.
Each time someone retweets a funny Old Spice joke, the Old Spice logo and brand name are attached. On Twitter, Old Spice is able to advertise their product without saying anything remotely related to it. This is an impressive use of the short-form, shareable medium.
Old Spice has somehow figured out how to use random songs, absurdist tweets, and hunky men to sell deodorant. After five years of successful viral marketing, people are always excited to see what weird thing Old Spice will do next, while buying their products in the meantime.
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