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Old Spice on Twitter (twitter.com)
210 points by oneplusone on July 13, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 76 comments

He's currently answering (tons of) questions, in video form, from "the internet"... youtube comments, reddit, twitter, including other celebs (with shows)... EW, Ellen Degeneres, etc. They are pumping these out extremely quickly, and in large volume.

reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/entertainment/comments/cp190/the_old...

It's maybe the best guerilla/viral/web2.0 marketing job I've ever seen. It helps, greatly, that this guy, and his team, are apparently comedic geniuses.

e.g: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHrXKg2Fk5k

I'm pretty sure half of what makes these ads so awesome and popular with my friends is just how in touch Old Spice seems to be with the culture of their target audience. It's amazing to see a real corporation move like that.

"The tickets are now DIAMONDS!"

Perfect example. They hit a home run with that line, especially with their target audience.

I like the ads, but is there something specifically awesome about that line that I don't get?

nothing specifically awesome, it's just exactly in line with the sense of humor of my college friends, yet I don't think it'd fly with other people. qed, careful targeting.

I've been out of college for 9 years and was laughing my ass off when I saw the Old Spice commercial during the World Cup Final.

Likewise, and I've been out for 25 years.

They are created by Tim and Eric of Awesome Show fame on adult swim. They also created this commercial which is distilled genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p0QtJMKt1s

Tim and Eric did do some commercials for Old Spice, but none of these. All of the ones with Isaiah Mustafa are from Wieden+Kennedy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieden%2BKennedy

Here's a link to a compilation of Tim and Eric's Old Spice commercials:


This video shows how that Old Spice ad was made --- minimal CGI! And incidentally, another Eric was involved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDk9jjdiXJQ (They smell like redditors...)

I watched that and kept waiting for it to be funny. Then I went to reply "That's not funny" and realized the genius of the clip.

Well Played Sir.

Including a message to Kevin Rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So5yDtITswY

And then a reply to @kevinrose's tweet about this first video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O44C765UiMw Hilarious!

oh wow, these are good videos. I think I just wasted half an hour watching 40 of these things.

I watched this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSQU3T9Lc5g&feature=chann... and had a sudden desire to hack a mobile phone into machine gun/butter knife :)

But did they make you want to buy Old Spice? Exactly :)


I just chatted with a friend at the agency working on this. They are writing the responses on the fly and the actor gets them in 2 takes.

That's awesome. It's amazing how well-connected the hacker news crowd is, I always thought some kind of referral system at HN would be of great value.

completely seconded

I'd have thought an upvote could replace this comment.

Completely seconded.

There's a LinkedIn group.


Is this Wieden + Kennedy work?


W+K fucking rock. Their internship program has kids who aren't hackers learning Arduino as a matter of course for automating visual merchanidising displays.

Good campaign, but not enough to offset Neal Stephenson's take on it:

  Oh, they used to argue over times, many corporate driver-years lost to it: 
  homeowners, red-faced and sweaty with their own lies, stinking of Old Spice 
  and job-related stress, standing in their glowing yellow doorways brandishing 
  their Seikos and waving at the clock over the kitchen sink, I swear, can't 
  you guys tell time?

Everything good can and has been bad at some point in history.

Yesterday shaving made it to the front page at YC, today after-shave follows up with its own front page appearance ...

Cool coincidence !?

Tomorrow, the whole front page will be about feeling your face sting and going "Ow! Ow! Ow!" in front of your bathroom mirror.

No, a fresh scented one.

Its great because too many companies have forgotten the value of random humor in their commercials... It signifies a company taking a risk on a marketing campaign which makes it great, and its also great because of the diversity of characters they use in their commercials.

Actually, this reminds me of StrongBad answering emails.

I like Old Spice's ads and marketing. Pretty much searched it out when I was at the shops but didn't really like the smell. </slight-offtopic>

I use the Original Scent body wash, and I always crack up at "If your grandfather hadn't worn this, you wouldn't be here" line.

Which one(s) did you look at?

OMG these are genius and an idea whose time has come. Marketing to a generation of people who have been marketed to tears, breath of fresh air.

It seems to me that people like the marketing without actually liking the product itself. Are there any sales numbers for Old Spice?

I tried Old Spice Odor Blocker because I loved this commercial so much: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tI4CbCniBI

I actually loved the product and will be using it for the forseeable future. My wife loves it even more than I do :)

I'm sure they are seeing increased sales, when it comes to body wash people usually just follow the commercials.

Before they'd just ignore old spice, and would head straight for the Axe stuff...but with the new commercials they now also consider old spice.


My wife keeps saying she's gonna buy me some, or that I should buy some, just because of the ads.

The point of ads is to get you thinking about and talking about a product you wouldn't have otherwise. It's nice if they improve your perception of the product, but that's not as important as just getting yourself into people's heads. e.g., "there's no such thing as bad press"

there is such a thing as return on investment though

Are twitter, reddit, or youtube making any money off this at all?

Twitter is (in a way) because Old Spice has coordinated this with a promoted trending topic and a promoted tweet.

YouTube is (in a way) as well since Old Spice is probably paying for their channel.

Reddit, maybe, if Old Spice became a Gold Member.

You think they could at least buy a reddit ad.

What, no Bruce Campbell? Doh.

I wonder when this showed up in the idea creation. It all depends on a very actively audience engaged with the regular ads (in order to respond to comments via video response). Did they see the popularity and have an idea on how to use social tools to mid-campaign or was it in the works all along? Either way, genius.

One of the best things about this is they've made the videos unlisted (at least some of them - the one's I've browsed anyway) on YouTube.

Relatively pure, realtime feedback on their ads has to be pretty fantastic for the team.

if you read Reddit, they appear to be getting lots of realtime feedback on their abs as well

Am I the only one waiting for Twitter to find a way to screw this up like how Facebook did with the BK Friend Sacrifice a couple of years ago?

Well I don't know if Twitter is screwing this up or if the account's been hacked somehow, but the twitter page is currently showing raw JSON instead of a formatted page...

http://i.imgur.com/Mmm8t.png http://twitter.com/OldSpice

I saw the same thing. Add a trailing slash and you'll get the HTML page.

This is awesome! I'm just scared some C level guy over 50 will find out about it and not understand it and then kill it...

the Reddit threads about this are hilarious as usual, and the Old Spice man appears to be answering comments from some of the users there. for those who want to read more...

This has got to be computer generated, right?

They need:

1. An actor

2. A shower

3. A writer

4. A camera and computer

I assume they'll do it for one day and people will talk about it for weeks. Pretty good return on investment.

it's done in one take without any cuts

It would be even awesomer if it were, given how good the generation would be:

http://i.imgur.com/i1xGS.jpg http://i.imgur.com/mv4HA.png http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzxnjIem6V0

I'm reminded of the new-old adage: "you can't polish a turd".

However 'in touch' Old Spice might be with the online generation (as someone wrote elsewhere in this thread), the product still smells like what someone's grandpa would wear.

How does this relate to startups? No matter how great your marketing might be, you gotta always be able to proposition the product right. Old Spice can't pivot and iterate their product because then it would no longer be Old Spice. Let's be thankful we can pivot with internet startups to find continued market fit.

However 'in touch' Old Spice might be with the online generation (as someone wrote elsewhere in this thread), the product still smells like what someone's grandpa would wear.

They know that, though, and go with it.

Example: a few years ago a relative gave a bunch of bath sets as Christmas gifts to everyone. The one I got was an Old Spice set, which bore the slogan: "If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist."

"However 'in touch' Old Spice might be with the online generation (as someone wrote elsewhere in this thread), the product still smells like what someone's grandpa would wear."

To me, Old Spice smells like something a real man would wear, and Axe (for instance) smells like something a newly pubescent teen would wear. Grandpa won WWII; the Axe generation pretends to win WWII by playing first-person shooter video games.

Yeah, I guess I wouldn't wear either. I find the US market for men's fragrances is pretty dreadful compared to my original native UK.

It's basically Axe or Old Spice here, where as in UK the equivalent of Walgreens, Boots, stocks those brands but also slightly more expensive Ted Baker, French Connection, and a number of others.

I guess I'm getting off topic, though I'm totally shocked I got down-voted so much for my original comment. Perhaps Old Spice is an American thing.

"Men's fragrances" means cologne to me, and I'm under the impression we have proper cologne in this country.

Old Spice is what you rub under your arm so your sweat doesn't stink, traditionally. I don't categorize that as a fragrance per se, even though it has a dark manly scent to it. I guess they sell "body wash" now too, which is like soap but harder to use.

I'd be VERY surprised if they're not selling a ton more old spice now. My wife is planning to buy me some just because she loves the ads.

This is why I hate marketing. Wouldn't you prefer it if your wife bought the best product rather than the best marketed product?

In this instance perhaps the fragrance she preferred the smell of the best?

I can't really smell much difference between any bathroom products. Whichever she wants to buy is fine by me.

Using old spice will remind me of some of the awesome lines from the adverts, which will be a good start to the day.

As long as it smells "good/clean", that's fine I'd say...

> ... because she loves the abs.


I use Aqua Reef Old Spice deodorant (not antiperspirant), and I've had several people ask me what cologne I was wearing -- when I wasn't wearing any.

> How does this relate to startups?

its a great example of innovative marketing and making good use of the tools they have at hand.

> However 'in touch' Old Spice might be with the online generation (as someone wrote elsewhere in this thread), the product still smells like what someone's grandpa would wear.

Is that automatically a bad thing? People like fedoras, and that's certainly something a grandpa would/did wear.

I remember maybe 5 years ago when I was re-entering the dating scene, I read in a few places that some women respond well told Old Spice simply because it was the fragrance their fathers wore. The logic to me seemed a bit creepy, but I did it anyway, and found that I liked it.

What Grandpa would wear is something that happens to be what a lot of men and women actually like a man to smell like.

Given that I'm now seemingly surrounded by hairless, wimpy, Justin Beiber fairy-men at every corner as the "ideal man", I wouldn't mind if Old Spice made a huge comeback.

Two contradicting trends in advertising to men (and culture) i've noticed lately:

Classic masculinity, of which this Old Spice campaign is an example. See also the Dos Equis guy, the sudden popularity of mustaches, steampunk, etc.

Homoeroticism. This cologne ad with David Beckham sums it up: http://tiny.cc/jhi6h. Or pop open a GQ or Esquire and see how many things are being sold to men using overtly sexual images of attractive men.

Agreed, although I don't think it's limited to two stereotypes (for instance there is the "Maxim/fratboy man" and the "Homer Simpson" man)

sure they can iterate...old spice with lemon, old spice Everest myst(green color), old spice gulf oil slick black(black colored) etc

or they can come out with a sub brand, youth spice

etc etc

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