They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
It can also be very difficult to change how people see a brand or product.
For example, despite the many re-branding attempts by Volvo, I still have the association of the “bloody Volvo driver” in my head because of the way the majority of them drive (those that I encounter anyway).
The danger for ‘older’ brands, if they don’t find a way to stay relevant, is that they may end up left on the shelf.
This was the scenario that Old Spice found themselves in a few years ago. The brand had introduced a body wash line in 2003, but increased competition meant that by 2006 Old Spice was losing out to other brands in the market.
This was a brand with a 70 year heritage – a brand with considerable experience, and clearly masculine positioning.
The problem here? Relevance.
Old Spice was seen as something that your grandfather or uncle might purchase. It had lost any connection with younger males.
In February, 2010, the company launched the following online ad:
It went viral (over 46 million views to date).
The ad was done in a way that not only appealed to the male target market, but spoke directly to a female audience, who are more likely to be making the purchase decision for their products.
Old Spice also executed a follow up campaign to this in June 2010, which you can read more about here.
1) HUGE increases to the size of their social media platforms:
- Twitter followers increased by 2700%
- Facebook fans increased by 800%
- YouTube subscribers more than doubled (from 65,000 to 150,000)
2) More than 1 billion unpaid impressions – a huge reach and response (talk about ROMI)
3) By the end of July 2010, Old Spice had become the number 1 brand of body wash for men in the US.
The case of Old Spice’s re-vitalisation shows that it is possible to teach an old brand new tricks (as long as it is executed well).
Personally I think the genius in the ad is how it manages to speak to both male users and female purchasers – not an easy feat!
Let me know in the comments –
- What do you think are some of the reasons that a video would go viral?
- Do you think that the ad maintains the brand’s integrity/ personality?
Until next time,