Old Spice Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

This article examines the evolution of the Old Spice Marketing Strategy and its impact on brand positioning. We will delve into the success of the iconic Old Spice campaigns, including the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” YouTube ad, which garnered 6 million views in its first week, and the impressive sales increase of 125% year-on-year. We will also explore the strategies behind Old Spice’s transformation from a brand associated with old men to one that resonated with a younger audience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Old Spice’s ‘Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ YouTube ad garnered 6 million views in its first week.
  • Old Spice experienced a sales increase of 125% year-on-year after the ad campaign in 2010.
  • The company’s website traffic surged by 300% following the ad’s launch.
  • Old Spice’s YouTube channel became the #1 Most Viewed Sponsored YouTube Channel after the ad campaign.
  • Old Spice became the #1 body wash brand for men in the U.S. after the successful ad campaign.

As we delve deeper into the Old Spice Marketing Strategy, we will explore the successful ad campaign that propelled the brand to new heights. Stay tuned for more insights and key metrics that showcase the effectiveness of Old Spice’s marketing approaches.

The History of Old Spice: A Brand with an Image Problem

Prior to its successful marketing campaigns, Old Spice was a brand with an image problem and negative perception among consumers. Founded in 1934 by William Lightfoot Schiltz, Old Spice initially gained popularity as a men’s grooming brand. However, by the late 1990s, younger consumers in London described Old Spice as iconic but with negative connotations, comparing it to Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square with pigeon excrement on Lord Nelson, highlighting a perception that was outdated and uncool.

Old Spice faced significant challenges with its brand image, being perceived as old-fashioned and not aligning with the desires of a younger demographic. The negative stigma hindered its growth and market share, leading to declining sales in the early 2000s.

To overcome this image problem, Old Spice implemented a comprehensive rebranding strategy and partnered with the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy in 2006. Recognizing the need to make the brand relevant to young men while leveraging its rich brand history, Old Spice embarked on a journey of transformation.

The rebranding efforts aimed to tap into emotional connections with consumers, primarily through humorous and satirical advertising campaigns. By addressing the negative perception head-on and injecting a fresh and funny take, Old Spice managed to shift consumer sentiment and enhance brand perception.

The strategy proved to be a turning point for the brand. By 2010, Old Spice had become one of the leading male grooming brands in the United States, demonstrating a significant turnaround in consumer perception. The successful advertising campaigns featuring celebrities like Isaiah Mustafa became viral sensations, reflecting a marketing strategy that resonated with consumers.

Social media engagement played a crucial role in Old Spice’s rebranding efforts. With the rise of platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, Old Spice leveraged these channels to create a loyal following among younger consumers. The brand’s campaigns generated massive online buzz and engagement, attracting millions of views and increasing its social media fan base exponentially.

Furthermore, Old Spice expanded into new product categories like deodorants, bar soaps, and body washes, accelerating its growth and exceeding expectations in its first year of launch. The brand’s diversification strategy helped it become the number one brand for men’s body wash, with sales increasing over 125% within a year after the repositioning.

Through its rebranding efforts, Old Spice successfully transformed its image and perception, showcasing the power of strategic marketing and the ability to connect with consumers on an emotional level. The brand’s journey from a struggling brand with an image problem to a market leader stands as a testament to its resilience, adaptability, and commitment to staying relevant in a changing consumer landscape.

The “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Campaign: A Fresh and Funny Take

The “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, launched by Old Spice in 2010, revolutionized the way brands approach marketing. This clever and humorous YouTube ad instantly went viral, captivating audiences with its witty and entertaining storytelling. The ad, featuring former NFL star Isaiah Mustafa, quickly gained traction and generated significant buzz across social media platforms.

The success of the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign had a profound impact on Old Spice’s brand perception and market presence. The ad’s unique approach not only entertained viewers but also led to a remarkable increase in sales. In a short amount of time, Old Spice saw their product sales surge by up to 107%.

Recognized for its exceptional creativity and effectiveness, the campaign received several prestigious awards, including the Cannes Grand Prix and the EFFIE Award for marketing excellence. The accolades further solidified Old Spice’s reputation as an industry leader in innovative advertising.

The “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign video quickly became a YouTube sensation, accumulating 220,000 views within a few hours of its release. The ad consistently maintained an average of approximately 100,000 views every few hours, showcasing its enduring popularity.

Old Spice’s creative team took the campaign a step further by producing a staggering total of 186 personalized videos during the campaign. These videos, ranging from 10 to 15 minutes in length, engaged viewers in an interactive and entertaining manner. The personalized videos garnered over 65 million views, making it one of the most successful online advertising campaigns of its time.

With nearly 105 million views on YouTube alone, the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign reached a massive audience and generated an astounding 1.2 billion earned media impressions. This level of exposure solidified Old Spice as a dominant force in the world of advertising.

The campaign’s successful integration of humor resonated with audiences worldwide. As a result, Old Spice experienced a remarkable 2700% increase in Twitter followers and an 800% increase in Facebook fan interaction. The brand’s website traffic also surged by an impressive 300% following the campaign.

Thanks to the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, Old Spice captured a staggering 75% of all conversations in its category. The incorporation of funny and unusual concepts in their ads resulted in 11 million video views within 48 hours, firmly establishing Old Spice as a trendsetter in the advertising industry.

The campaign’s exceptional success showcases the power of humor in marketing and how it can reinvent a brand’s image. Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign serves as an inspiring example of effective and engaging storytelling that truly captured the hearts and minds of consumers.

To think outside the box and create memorable campaigns, brands like Skittles with their “Taste the Rainbow” campaign and Dollar Shave Club with their “Our Blades Are Fing Great” campaign have also leveraged humor to connect with their target audience, generating significant brand awareness and loyalty.

Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have proven to be incredibly effective in sharing humorous content and increasing brand visibility. With their vast user base and engaging features, these platforms offer brands a unique opportunity to connect with consumers on a personal level and cultivate a loyal following.

Statistics Results
Year of Campaign 2010
Sales Increase Up to 107%
Awards Won Cannes Grand Prix, EFFIE Award
YouTube Views in 48 Hours 220,000
Average YouTube Views per Few Hours Approximately 100,000
Number of Personalized Videos Created 186
Total Views of Personalized Videos Over 65 million
Total YouTube Views Nearly 105 million
Earned Media Impressions 1.2 billion
Twitter Follower Increase 2700%
Facebook Fan Interaction Increase 800%
Website Traffic Surge 300%
Conversation Share in Category 75%
Video Views in 48 Hours 11 million

The Power of Social Media: Old Spice’s Ongoing Engagement

Building on the success of the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, Old Spice recognized the immense potential of social media platforms for brand engagement. To keep the momentum going and foster a stronger connection with their audience, Old Spice launched an ongoing social media campaign. This campaign, known as the Old Spice Response Campaign, revolutionized the brand’s digital presence and further solidified its position as a leader in viral marketing.

The Old Spice Response Campaign leveraged the power of social media to create personalized and interactive content. Fans were encouraged to submit questions and comments on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and in return, they received video responses from the charming Old Spice Guy himself. This personalized approach not only delighted fans but also generated millions of views, resulting in a substantial increase in subscribers and followers on social media.

The campaign’s engagement strategy went beyond mere video responses. Old Spice strategically utilized social media platforms to drive website traffic, increase views on their YouTube channel, and encourage active participation in the online conversation surrounding the brand. By creating shareable content and fostering meaningful interactions, Old Spice successfully turned its audience into brand advocates.

The Old Spice YouTube channel played a vital role in the campaign’s success. The channel became a hub of entertaining and engaging content, attracting millions of views and going viral. By consistently providing entertaining videos and responding directly to fans’ inquiries, Old Spice established itself as a dynamic brand that prioritized customer engagement.

The impact of the Old Spice Response Campaign was far-reaching. It not only contributed to a surge in sales but also expanded Old Spice’s customer base and appealed to a wider range of consumers. The campaign’s success garnered industry acclaim, including prestigious awards such as the Grand Prix for Film and the Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Statistics Results
75% of all conversations in the industry captured within the first three months Indicates the campaign’s significant impact and widespread buzz generated
107% increase in sales compared to the previous year Reflects the campaign’s effectiveness in driving consumer interest and purchasing behavior
1.4 billion impressions generated in just two days Showcases the campaign’s ability to reach and resonate with a large audience
Market share increase of up to 125% in body wash sales Highlights the campaign’s direct impact on product performance

Partner Marketing: Collaborations That Fuel Success

In addition to its successful marketing campaigns, Old Spice has also capitalized on the power of partner collaborations to drive its success. By teaming up with renowned agencies, influencers, and other brands, Old Spice has been able to expand its reach, enhance brand credibility, and create impactful campaigns that resonate with their target audience. These collaborations have played a vital role in Old Spice’s marketing strategy, leading to increased brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth.

Old Spice Partner Collaborations

Old Spice has partnered with various entities to create memorable and effective marketing campaigns. One notable collaboration is its partnership with popular advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. Together, they developed the iconic “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, which not only revitalized the brand but also attracted a younger demographic.

Old Spice has also collaborated with influential figures to amplify its marketing efforts. For instance, they teamed up with NFL player Von Miller to create engaging content that resonated with sports enthusiasts and promoted the brand’s products. By leveraging Miller’s popularity and authenticity, the collaboration successfully increased brand relevance and expanded Old Spice’s customer base.

Old Spice Marketing Partnerships

Old Spice has also ventured into co-marketing partnerships with other brands, creating mutually beneficial alliances that drive success for all parties involved. These partnerships are designed to increase brand visibility, reach new audiences, and generate revenue growth.

For example, Old Spice collaborated with popular video game franchise “Fortnite” to launch an exclusive in-game cosmetic item featuring Old Spice branding. This partnership not only helped Old Spice tap into the massive fanbase of “Fortnite” but also positioned the brand as relevant and appealing to gamers.

Another successful marketing partnership was with the hit TV show “Stranger Things.” Old Spice and Netflix’s collaboration resulted in a co-branded campaign that combined the show’s nostalgia with Old Spice’s humor. This partnership gained over 820 million media impressions and resonated particularly well with “Stranger Things” fanatics, further solidifying Old Spice’s brand relevance and increasing its customer engagement.

Benefits of Partner Collaborations

Partner marketing collaborations offer numerous benefits for brands. By pooling resources and expertise, partnering brands can achieve increased brand awareness, expanded customer bases, improved customer loyalty, and ultimately, higher revenues.

Collaborations also help brands tap into new markets and demographics by leveraging the partner’s existing customer base. These partnerships provide opportunities for cross-promotion, allowing both brands to reach a wider audience and enhance their visibility in the market.

Additionally, co-marketing partnerships allow brands to combine their strengths and resources, resulting in more impactful campaigns and creative initiatives. By sharing content creation, distribution channels, promotional activities, and milestones, brands can generate greater buzz and engagement around their shared initiatives.

Assessing Collaboration Potential

Before entering into a marketing partnership, thorough assessment of the potential return on investment (ROI) is crucial. Industries should evaluate factors such as brand alignment, target audience overlap, and the partner’s credibility and reach. This ensures that the collaboration will be worth the time, effort, and resources invested.

Clear communication and goal-setting are also vital for the success of any co-marketing partnership. Establishing effective communication channels and aligning on the objectives, expectations, and timelines will help ensure that all parties are on the same page and working towards shared goals.

Benefits of Partner Collaborations Statistics/Case Studies
Increased brand awareness Old Spice’s collaboration with “Fortnite”
Expanded customer bases Old Spice’s partnership with Von Miller
Improved customer loyalty Old Spice’s collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy
Higher revenues Old Spice’s collaboration with Netflix’s “Stranger Things”

Case Study: The Impact of the “Got Milk” Campaign

In 1993, the California Milk Processor Board launched the groundbreaking “Got Milk” campaign, aiming to address the decline in milk demand caused by the rise of sugary drinks in the 1980s. The campaign focused on highlighting the inconvenience of running out of milk rather than emphasizing its health benefits, resonating with consumers on a relatable level.

The “Got Milk” campaign was a masterclass in effective marketing strategies. The campaign’s impact was visible from the very beginning, with the iconic “Aaron Burr” commercial airing on October 29, 1993, marking the start of a cultural phenomenon. The commercial cleverly depicted a man unable to answer a trivia question about Aaron Burr, showcasing the need for milk with a powerful and memorable punchline.

The campaign utilized a mix of media platforms to engage and resonate with the target audience. Television commercials, billboards, and celebrity endorsements played a significant role in promoting milk consumption. Well-known personalities such as Michael Jordan, Britney Spears, and Whoopi Goldberg became the faces of the campaign, enhancing its reach and appeal.

The impact of the “Got Milk” campaign was undeniable, as it successfully reversed the decline in milk sales. Following the campaign’s launch, California saw a significant surge in milk sales, indicating the efficacy of addressing consumer pain points and leveraging relatable messaging. Recognizing its success, the National Dairy Board adopted the “Got Milk” campaign nationwide, reinvigorating milk’s popularity across the country.

The “Got Milk” campaign became a powerful example of successful marketing, receiving numerous awards for its creativity and effectiveness. Even though it launched in 1993, the campaign’s impact continues to be felt almost three decades later. This highlights the enduring power of a well-executed marketing strategy that addresses consumer needs and resonates on an emotional level.

Key Statistics:

In California alone, the “Got Milk” campaign ran approximately 70 commercials and around 350 milk mustache ads nationally in print and on TV. These efforts reinforced the campaign’s message and contributed to its success in boosting milk consumption.

Year Campaign Key Highlight
1993 “Got Milk” Campaign Aaron Burr commercial aired, marking the start of the iconic campaign
1993 “Got Milk” Campaign Celebrity endorsements from Michael Jordan, Britney Spears, and Whoopi Goldberg
1993-Current “Got Milk” Campaign Significant surge in milk sales in California after the campaign’s launch
1993-Current “Got Milk” Campaign National adoption by the National Dairy Board, revitalizing milk’s popularity
1993-Current “Got Milk” Campaign Received multiple awards for creativity and effectiveness in advertising

The “Got Milk” campaign’s impact is undeniable, showcasing the power of addressing consumer pain points and crafting relatable messaging. This case study serves as a testament to the long-lasting effectiveness of strategic marketing campaigns that capture the attention and preference of consumers.

Case Study: Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” Campaign

Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign has been widely applauded for its impact in redefining beauty standards and promoting a more inclusive representation of women in the media.

In a study conducted by Dove’s PR representation, Edelman, it was found that only 2% of women considered themselves beautiful. This shocking statistic served as the driving force behind Dove’s mission to challenge conventional beauty norms and celebrate the diversity of real women.

By featuring women of different ages, sizes, and ethnicities in their advertising, Dove struck a chord with consumers and sparked conversations about self-esteem and body image. Their powerful messaging resonated with individuals who had long felt excluded from traditional beauty standards.

To amplify their message, Dove leveraged digital platforms and social media. On YouTube, their video “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” became the most viewed online video ad of all time, surpassing 114 million views globally. The video highlighted the disparity between how women perceive themselves and how others see them, emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance.

On social media, Dove cultivated a strong following, with 14.3 million fans on Facebook. Their engagement rate significantly outshined competitors like Old Spice, solidifying their position as a leader in the industry.

Not only did the “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign garner attention and spark important conversations, but it also drove tangible results for Dove. In 2019, 114.81 million Americans used Dove products, reflecting the brand’s wide reach and consumer loyalty.

The campaign’s success did not go unnoticed within the advertising industry. Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign was recognized with a Titanium Grand Prix award, highlighting its game-changing impact and innovative approach.

Overall, the Dove campaign serves as a shining example of the transformative power of embracing authenticity, challenging beauty standards, and leveraging digital platforms to make a meaningful impact.

Case Study: Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign

Apple’s “Think Different” campaign was a game-changer in the world of advertising, marking a significant turning point for the company. In the late 1990s, Apple was struggling to stay afloat, facing tough competition from Microsoft. However, with the introduction of the “Think Different” campaign, Apple successfully rebranded itself through its core values, ultimately reshaping its image and impact on the tech industry.

The campaign centered around celebrating individuals who defied the norm and challenged conventional thinking. Through powerful storytelling and captivating imagery, Apple positioned itself as the innovative alternative to Microsoft, appealing to the creative and forward-thinking audience.

The impact of the “Think Different” campaign was profound. It not only resonated with consumers on an emotional level but also altered the perception of Apple as a brand. The focus on celebrating individuality and the inherent value of each person’s unique perspective set Apple apart from its competitors and transformed it into a revolutionary innovator.

The success of the campaign cannot be understated. By rebranding through its core values, Apple effectively captured the attention and loyalty of its target audience. The “Think Different” campaign paved the way for Apple’s future successes, shaping the direction of the company and leaving a lasting impact on the tech industry as a whole.

Key Statistics Impact
Increased Sales Volume Significant rise in revenue and market share
Market Position Established Apple as a revolutionary innovator against Microsoft
Brand Identity Reshaped Apple’s image and perception in the tech industry
Emotional Connection with Consumers Celebrated individuality and appealed to creative and forward-thinking audience


The case studies of Old Spice, the “Got Milk” campaign, Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign, and Apple’s “Think Different” campaign highlight the power of effective marketing strategies. These campaigns demonstrate the importance of understanding target audiences, crafting relatable messages, leveraging partnerships, and embracing authenticity. By learning from these case studies, marketers can gain insights and inspiration to create their own successful marketing strategies.

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign exemplifies the impact a well-executed marketing strategy can have. With over 60 million views on YouTube, this campaign not only achieved significant sales growth among its target audience of younger men but also garnered industry recognition, winning prestigious awards like the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Film and the Clio Award for Best Integrated Campaign.

Throughout the years, Old Spice has undergone a transformation to remain relevant and appealing to a new generation. By redefining its target market to focus on young males aged 18-35 and emphasizing modernity and playfulness in its rebranding efforts, Old Spice has successfully positioned itself as a go-to brand for young adult males. The “Old Spice Swagger” campaign, in particular, achieved remarkable results, leading to a fourfold increase in sales and effectively engaging the target audience.

As with the “Got Milk” campaign, Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign, and Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, these case studies demonstrate the importance of staying attuned to consumer trends and preferences. Adapting marketing strategies to meet emerging demands, such as the growing interest in sustainability and eco-friendly products, can open up new opportunities for brands like Old Spice. By integrating technological advancements, such as customized scents or smart packaging, Old Spice can continue to captivate its target audience and expand into emerging markets.


What were the key elements of Old Spice’s successful marketing strategy?

Old Spice’s successful marketing strategy included rebranding, humorous and direct advertising, viral campaigns, social media engagement, and strategic collaborations.

How did Old Spice transform its brand image?

Old Spice transformed its brand image by partnering with advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy to make it relevant to a younger demographic while still drawing on its history.

What was the impact of the "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign?

The “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign was a major turning point for Old Spice, resulting in a more than 100% sales increase, a 300% increase in website traffic, and the positioning of Old Spice as the top body wash brand for men.

How did Old Spice engage its audience on social media?

Old Spice engaged its audience on social media through the Response Campaign, which featured personalized video responses from the Old Spice Guy to questions submitted by fans on social media platforms.

How did Old Spice leverage partnerships to fuel its success?

Old Spice leveraged partnerships with well-known agencies and influencers to extend its reach and credibility, creating memorable campaigns and fostering strong alliances.

What was the impact of the "Got Milk" campaign?

The “Got Milk” campaign successfully reversed the decline in milk sales, becoming a cultural phenomenon and showcasing the power of relatable messages, influential figures, and understanding consumer pain points.

How did Dove’s "Real Women, Real Beauty" campaign challenge beauty norms?

Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign challenged traditional beauty norms by embracing diversity and showcasing real women, creating an emotional connection and sparking conversations about self-esteem and body image.

How did Apple’s "Think Different" campaign impact the company?

Apple’s “Think Different” campaign transformed the company from a struggling tech company to a symbol of creativity and innovation by celebrating individuality and embodying the brand philosophy.

What can marketers learn from these case studies?

Marketers can learn the importance of understanding target audiences, crafting relatable messages, leveraging partnerships, and embracing authenticity from these case studies of Old Spice, the “Got Milk” campaign, Dove’s “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign, and Apple’s “Think Different” campaign.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at Latterly.org, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.