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Old Spice Man Viral Marketing Campaign Impresses

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…Maybe you should watch it for yourself:

And here’s the backstory:

Fresh off his appearance during a tv spot during the Superbowl, former ASU 1996 Rose Bowl wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa, reprised his role as the manly Old Spice Man and has caused a coup in social media circles.

In an industry that’s been increasingly filled with social media experts whose claimed to fame has been writing books about building a huge following on Facebook or Twitter, or building buzz, or sometimes seem like the Internet marketing equivalent of a Paris Hilton “I’m famous for being famous”, the Old Spice Man has brought a breath of fresh air to the social media scene.

On Tuesday, he took questions from multiple social media channels – Twitter and Facebook – and a team compiled the questions and had numerous personalized responses posted on YouTube, which were then emailed, retweeted and circulated around the Internet.

As of now, there are 205 videos posted on the YouTube channel with more content being progressively added.

Before you jump in with a preliminary judgement that this is a case of new-fangled efficiency in aggregating multiple channels, take a moment to watch the finished product.

The Old Spice Man comes across as:

  • Attractive to both genders – women want to be with him, men want to be like him.
  • Intelligent: He’s got the chops to reply with astute answers, compared to the incessant laughing and rambling common with some lifecasters.
  • Funny: He doesn’t take himself too seriously and his humor is infectious.

Except for a few critics, he’s largely won over the bulk of his followers, including Digg founder Kevin Rose, actresses Alyssa Milano and Demi Moore. His biggest win could possibly be the 4chan community, a rabble-like elite community which has spawned memes like LOLCats and RickRolling.

What helped make this a winning campaign. Some of the key details:

  • A successful marriage of social media practitioners and a tech team
  • Trust from Old Spice’s parent, Proctor and Gamble, for the ad agency to have a free hand in scripting and going live with responses to queries, without the typical multiple layers of management vetting and approval
  • Picking the right person to play the Old Spice Man and front the campaign.

The missing ingredient in most social campaigns is an air of sincerity, playing it straight with the audience and an essential star quality and x-factor which all but a few lack.
Isaiah Mustafa possesses all the following attributes in scads.

Watch the videos and you might just get a taste of the future of social media.

Old Spice Man replies to Digg’s Kevin Rose:

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Alyssa Milano tweets her delight.

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Old Spice Man replies to Demi Moore

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