Old Spice’s Twitter Effect on Axe


Now I know what it must have felt like to watch the lunar landing!  Watching the twitterverse buzz over the @oldspice’s video replies to tweets and comments from across the web made me feel like I was witnessing (in real-time) an epic paradigm shift and birth of the benchmark for which all ad campaigns will be measured for years to come.

The first seismic shift happened in 1999 during Super Bowl XXXIII with the Victoria’s Secret’s spot promoting their Webcast fashion show. Then in 2001, BMW created a stir with their high quality film shorts featuring world-class directors and in the process building mindshare on the desktop with their branded video player.  Even still, these campaigns were more about branding and less about action (and even less about interaction).  In 2004 Burger King’s Subservient Chicken was the first campaign to successfully deploy a viral tactic that was launched from just a handful of the ad agency’s staff to grow to 5 million visits in the first 5 days.  Dove’s 2006 Campaign for Real Beauty that was elegantly executed and honest and it too created some buzz.

But these campaigns were all BT (before twitter).

Since Twitter meteoric rise, marketers and advertisers have been trying to figure out how to leverage it’s potential.  In a world where ad agency’s traditional leadership relies on mass-media to move the needle, this brilliant Wieden+Kennedy Old Spice campaign shook that suits out of their office chairs to face the nemesis – the web and more pointedly social media!  Nothing demonstrates this more than comparing AXE’s efforts to Old Spice’s. Let’s face it, this campaign has left AXE looking like your father’s Oldsmobile.


In spite of its brilliance I still wanted more!


Where’s my mobile app? We want more!! I’d be curious to see how many queries for “Old Spice” were done in the iTunes store! How about an Augmented Reality app the scans a QR tag on either a POP display or Print ad that launches a Old Spice guy video related to the printed piece.


I want to know who @Jsbeals is! I want meet his girlfriend! This is HISTORY!!! Get the mainstream media to write about the power of social media with the angle of interviewing some of the real-people to whom you replied.


Where’s the POP support for the campaign??!!! Gerard makes a great point in his blog post!

Location Based Engagement

How about FourSquare/Gowalla? When I checked-in at Target on FourSquare I was hoping to see an offer to drive my purchase.


Build a subscriber list, get my name and home address and send me something amazing in the mail!


It looks as if AXE left the Social Media strategy to the PR firm Edlemen.  Which brings up another debate – who should OWN social media?  PR, Client, Ad Agency?  If nothing else, this campaign has made a compelling case for the ad agency to lead. I believe the answer should be dictated by the client’s situation, resources, and passion for the channel. If you are BP, uh yeah, PR should be manning the social media ship.  But certainly in this circumstance, the payoff is HUGE when the ad agency leads.  No matter who’s leading, the big lesson is that for a campaign to reach its potential digital/social media must be on equal footing with TV.  Amazing things can happen if you do, and if you don’t, well… look for yourself.


Old Spice Logo AXE Logo
Launch Date ~ Sept 2009 ~ Jan 2010
Brand Voice Spokesperson: Old Spice Guy (Actor, Isaiah Mustafa)Old Spice did a great job of humanizing the brand in a way that plays well to social media.  You know your talking to a brand, but you feel like the brand is your fiend. There’s the critical ingredient of brand authenticity perfectly mixed with entertainment that you feel compelled to root for Old Spice. Spokesperson: Jennie Averbrook (Edlemena PR Employee)AXE isn’t driving the voice posts because posts are sparse. And when they appear, they tend to be very promotionally driven. Occasionally, there will be replies to conversations, sometimes even defending the brand. They do a good job of putting a human face in the conversation, but it almost seems like they looked around and said – “Oh, you have a facebook profile? Ok, you are in charge of our client’s brand on Facebook”.
Features Talk to OS GuyLeave comments to Old Spice in hopes of getting a video message. Hillarious responses. Store Buy Merch including “I’m on a horse” tying back to the TV campaign. I’d like to see the merch go viral too.  Perhaps do a deal with Threadless.com – unleash the masses!DownloadsYawn. #fail where’s OS Guy?


Seems like leftovers from previous campaign. Pointless and diluted the OS Guy experience. #fail It would have been cool if OS guy called out the interns and mobilized them to support this campaign.

Pole Poll

Made me smile but this too seems like an artifact from a previous campaign, diluting the experience for me.


User generated content complete with buxom blonde (is no place safe….jeez). It would have played better if we were guided with what upload and rewarded with video message.


Behind the scenes and user generated videos complete w/ spammers. Again, it would be great to see focus on what is being uploaded.


Witty questions – 20,683 people voted!!

AXE W.A.D.DFacebook app that allows you to report “boring” friends because they suffer from “Women’s Attention Deficit Disorder”. To date 11,777 “WADDS” tagged. This is on-brand as the least-common-denominator humor that would attrac their target audience.Axe Rise TestLink to their microsite where you answer questions on a web cam that that records me without my permission, asks me inocuous questions that are recorded only to be used to be edited into a canned video with sexual innueandos. Ha ha got me. WHERE IS MY DELETE BUTTON!??? I don’t want this on the internet. I’m calling my atty to see if he can find the delete button. #EPICFAIL

AXD Indie Run

Info on their promotion encouraging to donate clothes on the spot then run in their underwear. Seems fun and charitable. Will it move product?

AXE Hair Action

Oh, boy….what can I say….surround sound experience of sexy girl running their fingers through your imaginary hair breaking into an imaginary catfightfighting over you with no video . I know I’m getting old, but do they think even horny college (or younger) kids think this is funny much less want to share this?! #fail


Personalizing Axe through the employee of the PR firm. Um..Jennie seems sweet and all, but…what? See “Spokesperson” notes.


AXE produced videos and TV spots (love them!) and 5 fan generated videos.


2 polls with a total of 20K responses!

Fans/Likes 595,056 People Like This 274,503 People Like This
Fan Engagement Each wll post by OS guy garners hundreds, sometimes thousands of “like” and hundreds of replies.  Amazing level of engagement. Jennie post interesting finds and does a good job of keeping a conversation going with a couple of cross-promotional posts, but most of the comments are fan driven quips and comments about the product and how much they LOVE it (a lot of 1-liners) or their experience at AXE events
Comment Highlights

Old Spice: Well friends, like all great things this too must end. (508 replies!)

  • Alex Forian: No…NOOOOOO! It can’t be, not now! I haven’t growen tierd of you yet!
  • Beth Crabtree Hunter: Most brilliant ad campaign that I have ever seen! Loved it!
  • Santiago Cruz : Noooo, Don’t GO, so soon????

Think about it people…these are people saying, “please keep trying to sell me Old Spice!”  Amazing eh?

AXE : Amy K here, your AXE Hair Spokestylist! For Giveaway Wednesday on Twitter, I want to see ur favorite summer ‘do. Follow @AXE and tweet a pic for a chance to win an AXE hair gift basket! So, what’s your favorite summer style? –Amy K (22 Replies)

  • Cory Lee Hill: i personaly use old spice and axe. but old spice has a more genuine smell axe is a spice for like kids who want pop unless your useing one of the amber axes or something.
  • Nishant Vijay: no one like AXE in the market..
Sentiment Obviously extremely positive sentiment that is tying back to purchase intent. Comments include:

  • David Di Iorio: We must all go out and buy Old Spice…its the only way we can have a little bit of the Old Spice man with us everday.
  • Vanessa White: Nope. no no no no no Why!!!!!!! why… I’ll miss you so much. I’m going to buy some Old Spice just to smell it and think of you always. Good-By my friend. you will always be the sexyest man of my life.
  • Julie Turner Nelson: Ok Old Spice…Please dont take away the pretty talking ridiculously hunky guy 🙂 I guess I will have to go out and buy my husband Old Spice… until now that was the smell of my father, now it has a whole new image 🙂
There’s a good deal of positive sentiment in the posts.  Mostly 1 line proclamations of their adoration for the brand.  This is good, be it would be great to start a conversation as Old Spice has done.Dylan Andrew: ughh u should smell my gym locker room these idiot kids spray it EVERYWHERE and it stinks!Reply Thread:

  • Brett Goldsmith: same for my locker room
  • Jennie Averbook (note: Jennie is the official social media person for Axe): Dylan, too much of any smell is no good! AXE knows all scents are best in moderation, and created the Double Pits to Chesty move to show just how much to spray http://bit.ly/97g0Yv
Launch Date January 2006 June 2005
Gist Packed with OS Guy’s video responses to comments from across the web as well TV spots Uploaded AXE TV spots. Of course the spots are fantastically clever and witty. There are scenes from promotional events and even hidden camera show featuring Olivia Munn (call me <wink>).
Stats Channel Views: 7,258,771Total Upload Views: 72,505,746 Subscribers: 104,612 Channel comments: 16,901 #3 – Most Subscribed (All Time) – Sponsors

#1 – Most Viewed (Today)

#1 – Most Viewed (Today) – Sponsors
#1 – Most Viewed (This Week)

#1 – Most Viewed (This Week) – Sponsors

#7 – Most Viewed (This Month)

#1 – Most Viewed (This Month) – Sponsors

#2 – Most Viewed (All Time) – Sponsors

Channel Views: 3,670,200Total Upload Views: 4,274,193 Subscribers: 4,418#91 – Most Subscribed (All Time) – Sponsors
Highest Rated Comments of Most Viewed
  • LittleBroExpress: Wow..This old man spics response videos are awesome! I cant stop laughing!
  • arogorn811: Old Spice Guy if you and Chuck Norris had an arm wrestle who would win?
  • Bobinti: In UK “Axe” is called “LYNX”. The bottles and colours are the same
  • cafe9803: all bodywashes & perfumes are chemically charged, how do you think the smell gets around! please think of others when applying these fragrances..keep ’em to yourself!!
What the??!! @Jsbeals: @OldSpice Can U Ask my girlfriend to marry me? Her name is Angela A. Hutt-Chamberlin #Johannes S. #BealsReply (hint – she said yes!!!)Just think about it…a BRAND proposed to a guy’s girlfriend on YouTube via TWITTER!! Smell my finger? Ah…<blush>…a girl asking a girl to smell her finger??! Contrast with a marriage proposal and you get the gist.
Followers 84,253 (3,307 at start of the campaign) Rank: #2,172 1,688 Rank: #71,645
KLOUT Score 96 25
Top Retweets RT @OldSpice: Well friends, like all great things this too must end. Watch Video>> Possible Reach: 147,266RT @OldSpice: hello twitterers, @twitter I haven’t had any luck taming whales. Watch Video >>Possible reach: 120,210 RT @AXE: Well @mrwright8413 both #undierun were amazing, the students were great. In terms of clothes collected, ASU is winning with 530 …Possible reach: 4,508RT @likeaffabieber: Tapi lo tetep keren seeel hahhahha byk klii cewe yg ska ama lu RT @axePossible Reach: 4,366
Sentiment and Passion Positive Sentiment: 11:1 Passion:  28% Positive Sentiment: 2:1 Passion:  17%
What the??!! First ever Brand to Brand Twitter conversation (?) @Starbucks to @oldspice You look cold. Need some coffee? Reply to Tweet >> @Gillette to @oldspcie – shameless plug, but at least they adimitted it!Brilliant to engage celebrities such as @Alyssa_Milano who retweet and even responded with a charitable challenge to which Old Spice donated $100,000!!!Brilliant to engage influential bloggers and media outlets! Ashton Kutcher was the first @oldspice tweet I saw referencing @kevinrose. Of course both retweeted.Reach from those 3 tweets alone = 7,419,952 at a CPM of $0.00!!!! Stream seems to be about promoting product events, or personal insights. This was particularly intriguing conversation:@codyks: @AXE I use Body wash/shampoo/Deodorant/ and a spray (@tamajama really digs the spray, Dark Temptaion) Reply Thread:

  • @AXE: @codyks Yea? Have u tried the new AXE Twist? It changes over to keep girls interested! We’ll send u some. Just DM us w/ ur address! -JWA
  • @codyks @axe engaged me very well on twitter & made an even more loyal customer of me.
  • @AXE: Aw SHUX -JWA RT @codyks @axe engaged me very well on twitter & made an even more loyal customer of me.

Customer engagement, swag, or bribe? What do you think? Did he follow before or after the offer?


Why Axe Bet on Consumers for Global Twist Launch

The Old Spice Social Media Campaign by the Numbers

AXE Ads BlogBehind the Work: Old Spice Responses

Axe vs. Old Spice: Whose Media Plan Came Up Smelling Best?

Behind the Work: Old Spice

NYT: Old Spice Argues That Real Men Smell Good

The Team Who Made Old Spice Smell Good Again Reveals What’s Behind Mustafa’s Towel

Behind the Curtain of Old Spice’s Viral Video Mega Hit


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