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By B.L. Ochman
oldspice.pngAs everyone and her dog has already noted, Weiden+Kennedy pulled off a remarkable social media feat for Old Spice body wash this week. Videos of the wry and incredibly sexy Old Spice guy – first introduced in a Super Bowl commercial in February – went viral in under 24 hours.

Original, hilarious, entertaining, and remarkably well-crafted – the Old Spice videos took both new and traditional media by storm.

The campaign raises the bar on production values, scripting, acting, lighting, and engagement. Unfortunately, people aren’t rushing out and buying Old Spice. (Update: A couple of commenters noted that those stats are not fair to use in relation to the week-old social media play, and they are right, so I am removing them. )

Alas, there are two problems with the campaign.
– Old Spice reeks.
– So does the strategy

The bottom line: there is no such thing as a social media strategy. There is business strategy incorporating social media. But if that strategy doesn’t include sales, it’s nothing more than a tactic. Tactics don’t move markets. (Bonus problem: if your target audience thinks your product sucks, nothing else matters.)

“Old Spice Responses” — a.k.a the string of custom-made videos — is one of the most popular online marketing campaigns of all time.
Responding to posts on Twitter, Reddit and other social sites, Mustafa and crew created real-time hilarious videos personally addressed to bloggers, celebrities and plain folk male and female fans.

* Total videos uploaded: 183
* Combined viewing figures: 10,954,096
* Average video view (mean value): 59,858 views
* Median value: 40,536 views ( Idgit | Old Spice)
* Most watched video: 511,694 views ( Perez Hilton | Old Spice)
(Source: We are Social)

Yeah, sure. Show me the money.
Yes, the campaign has/will create name recognition and brand awarenes. But it has no follow-up. There’s no QR code, no mobile app, no couponing, sampling, events, email list building through registration.

Sure the campaign primes the pump for the next Old Spice campaign. Sure it’ll be talked about for years to come, and it’ll win every award in Cannes and at the Webbies.

Five years ago, those things along would have been enough to make the campaign a success.
Sadly, however, you can’t eat, or pay bills with awareness. You gotta sell product.
In case you somehow missed the campaign (hard as that is to imagine): in 12 hours, former NFL wide receiver and incredibly sexy Isaiah Mustafa made a series of nearly 200 funny TV commercials pointing out that men who start using Old Spice deodorant and body wash could be as awesomely sexy as he. (See them on the Old Spice YouTube channel.)

Other views:
John Bell
Lisa Barone
David Polinchock
Gerard Mclean