Spotlight Case Study: Old Spice

Perhaps the most effective marketing effort that has ever hit the web was Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign. The video, featuring a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa speaking in a confident and seductive manner, is ostensibly aimed at women. Of course, men also find the video entertaining. Many businesses wonder what strategies Old Spice employed in order to gain insta-fame with YouTube and television campaigns and how they find continued success with Twitter.

Successful Components of the Old Spice Video Campaign

  • Frontman: Isaiah Mustafa is a likeable, notable actor who has become the Old Spice guy, to the point where he could be recognized as little else. A recognizable spokesperson is as relatable and iconic as a logo or tagline. Mustafa has inevitably become part of the Old Spice brand. 

Humor: It takes a keen marketing team to know what is funny and execute it properly. In this case, Old Spice is appealing to their target markets and nailing it. Old Spice has been around for decades and needed to be refreshed in the market; the smart humor in their ad feels young without excluding important older demographics.
  • Masculinity: The brand is selling manhood. The Old Spice guy is strong, brave, and admittedly well-sculpted. Clearly, no video viewer believes that any of that has a thing to do with his brand of hygiene products, but they are learning what kind of men Old Spice targets.

Successful Components of the Old Spice Twitter Campaign

  • Interactivity: Any company can succeed with a social media marketing campaign if representatives read twice as much as they type and open a dialog with followers instead of merely lecturing ad-like posts to the masses. As Old Spice demonstrates, responding to just one customer can start a chain reaction. Every customer wants that attention, and the funniest or most unbelievable posts will go viral.
  • Humanization: The Old Spice Twitter page is posted in a manner that suggests it is written by the Old Spice guy himself. The posts read so much like things Mustafa’s character would say that people believe they are connecting with the icon himself.
  • Brand Cohesion: The above point creates consistency in the Old Spice branding structure. This means that whether you’re on the Old Spice website, watching a commercial, reading Old Spice tweets or scoping YouTube, you will find the same attitude and representation everywhere.

How to Emulate Online Success Stories like Old Spice & Others


Use the “Ready, Aim, Fire” method for your social media marketing: 



  • Ready – Create a company culture. Decide which adjectives should best describe the company, ideally, and then embody those traits in all communications.
  • Aim – Designate a target market and design communication and representation around the needs of those people.
  • Fire – Post often, update pages frequently with fresh content, and stay current.

Old Spice has clearly discovered the keys to success. Are you ready to implement their ideas in your business?

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