Make a Smellmitment!

Ken Lupton    October 12, 2015


Organization Name: Old Spice

Industry: Retail

Web references:,,,,,

Although it smells too good to be true, Old Spice’s Social media and YouTube “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign has not only increased sales by the tune of 107%,  but has also gained more then 236 million YouTube views.

With 6 milliondf47fd17 YouTube views in the first 24 hours, it is the most popular viral video.  Even more popular then Obama’s victory speech!


It was a social media success for old spice body wash.

  • On day 1 the campaign received almost 6 million views
  • On day 2 old spice had 8 of the 11 most popular videos online
  • On day 3 the campaign had reached over 20 million views
  • After the first week old spice had over 40 million views
  • The Old Spice twitter following increased 2700% (probably off a lowish base)
  • Facebook fan interaction was up 800%
  • website traffic was up 300%
  • The Old Spice YouTube channel became the all time most viewed channel (amazing)
  • The campaign increased sales by 27% over 6 months since launching (year on year)
  • And in the last month sales were up 107% from the social responses campaign work!!!
  • Old spice is now the #1 body wash brand for men.


indexThe intensive campaign began just before the 2010 Superbowl, with the rugged and handsome former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa.  Isaiah, born in Portland, Oregon played with many NFL teams on the practice squad before pursuing an acting career.  His career catapulted him to instant fame with the Old Spice campaign when it started to go viral in February 2010.


Another ex-NFL player Terry Crews, born in Flint, Michigan, also used by Old Spice has almost as many views on his YouTube videos.

Crews stars in 3 of the 4 top 10 campaigns using NFL players.


Isaiah Mustafa
True Reach: 99,509,891 views
Brands: Old Spice, Maccabee Beer, and Downy
Campaigns: 4
Social Interactions: 824,050
Terry Crews
True Reach: 91,256,953 views
Brands: Old Spice, Charmin, and Bounce
Campaigns: 7

Although Old Spice came out of the blocks like gang busters, did they, as they say in most sports, follow through? According to Gary Vanerchuk @garyvee, an entrepreneur, investor, author, public speaker, and internet personality, “they did everything right until it was time for the money shot.  They left the community they created to sit there.”


How has Old Spice adapted and improved on an already successful Social media campaign?

It is safe to say that they have the customer engagement part down now.  The Old Spice guy interacts via YouTube videos with other famous people like, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore and responds to their tweets.  The Old Spice Guy responded to tweets (including a marriage proposal) with 116 YouTube videos. The crew had only 7 minutes to record the video responses, allowing for only 1 or 2 takes.  And yes, the 7 minute time frame included the writing as well.  They would keep the conversation rolling by responding to Facebook post and tweets.

The main task of engagement is obtained by personalization.  Responding to tweets with a custom video put the engagement campaign over the top.  Jason Bagley, one of the writers for the Old Spice campaign said, “No one expects to ask a question and then be responded to.  I think that’s where we broke through”

They are also engaging with many regular customers as well.  Twitter conversation.


Old Spices latest YouTube commercial has more than 2 million views and 30,600 likes on Facebook with over 8000 shares.  Asking customers to choose or make a “smellmitment” between the 2 types of body wash.  This negative twist to revive the campaign by asking customers to choose between the 2 products and actors gives the campaign the personal customer engagement needed.

In addition to YouTube videos, Old spice has posted many audio songs available for customers to download.

Source: sound cloud

Old Spice is continually making customer interactive post and videos.  Click to play a fun interactive game with Terry Crews.


Lessons:  Keep the videos short, searchable and use content that is easy to share.  Try to respond in real time.  Most customers would expect a response within 24 hours.  Piggy back off other people’s networks and keep up with the content.  Use personal engagement and have customers interact and engage by making product choices.

Submitted By: Ken Lupton

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