Old Spice search buzz washes away Neutrogena, Gillette

By now, I expect that you’ve heard about the viral video that has reinvigorated the Old Spice brand. I have to hand it to the ad agency Wieden & Kennedy for showing everyone that the adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” works. According to Mashable, they reformulated and re-released the original video (initially produced in February) and developed almost 200 unique video responses to the social media buzz. These personalized videos generated even more buzz and eventually drove video views through roof.

Beyond the social media campaign, the video had an impact on search. According to Google, recent search requests for Old Spice eclipsed requests for leading brands such as Neutrogena and Gillette (see image below).

These results also impacted the bottom line. According to SymphonIRI “sales in this three-month range have increased by 95 percent over last year and Old Spice gained 2 percent in overall market share.” While the numbers are again impressive, it should be noted that P&G used coupons (such as BOGO, or Buy One Get One Free) to entice consumers to buy Old Spice. It seems that the videos made Old Spice come to the top of consumers minds while the coupons encourage consumers to buy it/try it out.

But once the campaign buzz and incentives are removed, the real question remains: how good is the Old Spice product? If the answer is that competing offerings are hands down better, the money that P&G spent might as well have just gone down the drain. Let’s hope that’s not the case.