Unmistakably masculine. Just for man. Roman. Man. Mens. Man. Man. Hello, ladies. This is one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever and there is a key reason why. We can attribute its success not to the content, but instead to the audience they target. Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using lady scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. The man, your man could smell like a campaign was a big risk for Old Spice, the biggest shift in their marketing history. In a surprising move, the company targeted women to sell a product for men. Early American Old Spice was founded in 1937 and their first demographic was women. The founder William Lightfoot Schultz was inspired by his mother’s potpourri. Demand for men’s fragrances was low because body odor was long considered by many as a sign of masculinity. But, throughout the early 20th century, companies realized that they were not reaching 50 percent of potential customers and began marketing to men without much success. Advertisers got their break with the effects of the depression in the 1930s. Men lost their jobs, their pride, and the sense of masculinity. Deodorant companies offered a way to get it back. Old Spice was on the forefront. In 1938, Schultz launched Old Spice for men. But, how did they define their form of masculinity? Sailing. They decorated their packaging with historically formidable ships like Graham’s Turk and Friendship. During World War II, Schultz transformed his factory into a military production facility. Old Spice aftershave, then, became the scent of choice for American soldiers abroad. Therefore, globally defining the scent of a masculine man. With the advent of television, Old Spice was able to more directly link their scent to the concept of manliness. Why there so many single men use Old Spice aftershave lotion? Well, let’s see. There’s Julie and Karen, and Peggy, Joel. Into the 1970s, they doubled down. There’s no question about it. Men who wear Old Spice really understand what girls like. Girls like it. Is there a better reason to wear Old Spice? Subtle, huh? But, this worked. In the 1990, Old Spice sold to Procter and Gamble for $300 million. Despite new ownership, Old Spice marketing was more or less the same as it had been for the previous 40 years. They had a legacy on their side and a consistent older consumer base, but they were struggling to reach the younger demographic. With the new millennial consumer, this struggle became a nightmare. Here’s a new deodorant called Axe, spray like this to stay fresh all day. Axe Body Spray turned to the men’s grooming market upside down. They successfully sold to the coveted 15-25 demographic with edgy commercials depicting Axe coated regular guys getting the girl. It’s the same formula Old Spice used for decades, but amplified. Old Spice just couldn’t shake their old school reputation and it only got worse for Old Spice. Soon, the men’s grooming market was crowded with competitors like Dove for Men, Nivea Men, Suave Men. Following Axe’s success, these once gender neutral brands attacked the newly profitable male market. Old Spice tried to keep up and released a largely unsuccessful swagger campaign. Old Spice was falling further out of favor. They had to rebrand, so they looked to the big guns. Wieden and Kennedy is an American advertising agency responsible for some of the most memorable marketing campaigns in recent memory. Wieden and Kennedy’s an iconic agency. They really stayed independent when a lot of agencies were getting sucked up. It was reflected in the kind of creative work that you see in this campaign. With the help of Wieden and Kennedy, Old Spice decided to do a 360 rebranding and the older a brand is the harder it is to change consumers perceptions. To shake that perception, Old Spice really had to step out on a limb. This is classically almost impossible to take something that’s perceived as a product for my grandparents, dated, not current, not interesting. But, the advantage is that frees you because you really don’t have anything to lose at that point. Luckily, Wieden and Kennedy had a plan. P&G’s own research had uncovered a surprising statistic. Sixty percent of men’s body washes were actually purchased by women. They had their new target consumer. They needed to find a sexy, confident, hyper-masculine, but maybe most importantly, funny lead character. They found that in Isaiah Mustafa. They picked somebody who’s very relatable, funny, intelligent, and they played off of the stereotypes of a pro-football player and he wasn’t that at all. He was actually engaging and easy to relate to. They had their audience, they had their man. Now, all they had to do was implement it. The Super Bowl is the Mecca for advertisers. Unilever announced it would be launching a big campaign for Dove Men in care body wash for the Super Bowl in February. Old Spice decided to directly challenge that campaign, but without airing a TV commercial. Instead of spending money on the Super Bowl itself, Old Spice surrounded it, and to do that they looked to the still young sleeping giants. Social media. They targeted millennials where millennials lives. “The man, your man could smell like” first appeared on YouTube and Facebook a few days before the big game, and it worked. On day one, the videos were seen 5.9 million times on YouTube, that’s more than Obama’s victory speech after 24 hours. On day two, Old Spice had eight out of the top 11 most popular videos on the entire Internet. On day three, the campaign hit 20 million views. In one month, Old Spice became the number one all time most viewed brand on YouTube. The campaign was a cultural phenomenon and Mustafa was the face. He was everywhere, doing interviews on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah, and Sports Center. But, for Old Spice, this virality needed to pay off. What’s the use if it didn’t get these millions of viewers to actually purchase the product? By May 2010, Old Spice sales were up 60 percent. By July, a 125 percent, an all time high for the brand. They were the number one brand for men’s body wash. Old Spice took a big risk and with help from W and K, its risk paid off. It completely reinvigorated its brand and came out looking 50 years younger. In the process, unearthed previously untapped market. Today, they’re still marketing men’s body wash to female consumers. In the summer of 2018, Old Spice launched its She Nose Best campaign, which showcases the influence women have on guys important life decisions, and it looks like this one’s working too. Let us know what you think in the comments below and please like and subscribe.