Social Media Marketing Spicing up the Internet – Old Spice Way

116,281,366. This is the number of times the Old Spice channel videos have been viewed so far with 146,098 subscribers. A jaw-dropping number capable of creating another Tom Cruise jumping-on-the-couch-moment for the company. The viral campaign for the men’s cologne brand has been a runaway success so far owing to its catchy and funny videos which revolve around the actor Isaiah Mustafa, who portrays the image of the alpha male, someone what every man aspires to be. For the marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy, it was a job well done as it created an immense hype around a brand that was till now, struggling to compete in the shark waters of the men’s cosmetics industry.

The videos, 74 so far, show Mustafa’s character as a dashing shirtless man with over-the-top humor and bravado.  The marketing agency targeted various social networks with an invitation to ask questions. The questions concentrated on the main character of the videos and the responses thus collected and tracked gave valuable inputs into the campaign. The best answers were tracked the users were answered directly through short and funny YouTube videos. The videos although not directly aimed at an individual command a global appeal and have a very personalized feel to them.

Like wildfire, the videos quickly spread all over the internet with thousands of responses and Likes.Even though the actual results of this success are yet to be translated into actual sales for the company, but still it remains a noteworthy example in online viral marketing. These videos were created around a theme of What men Aspire to Be and a new episodic content was delivered in every video. But what Old Spice did here wasn’t as unique as it sounds. In-fact they concentrated on the most basic of principles of advertising, both online and off-line, and that is connecting with the customers. These viral videos captured the imagination of the viewers and actively engaged them in conversations which were helpful in coming up with more videos later. In a way the viewers and subscribers created the content for the agency. What a luxury to have!

Such viral campaigns have become the highlight of social media marketing these days. Brands like Budweiser, IPL, Wilkinson and NIKE have already treaded the same path with great success. Given the large number of ways in which such viral campaigns can be undertaken and the tools which are at disposal for the same, it comes somewhat as a surprise to know that not many brands have ventured into this form of promotions. One of the reasons attributed to it could be the risk involved in letting this bunny out of the hat. Once the viral actually becomes a viral, you have almost no control over where it goes or is shared. One of the biggest risks associated with viral videos is the viewer reaction and perception towards the video. This is something which can never be guaranteed and even a single bad remark could create a butterfly effect for the brand, resulting in a storm of negative publicity.

Still, brands are willing to take this risk as if once a HIT, these viral campaigns could turn out to be the most effective form of promotions. The cost involved in developing and transmitting these videos is nothing as compared to the rich dividends which they result in. The Social media marketing circles are abuzz with such kind of campaigns and with the users sharing your videos on all the social networking platforms, it only gets better.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 2:19 PM and is filed under Viral marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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