Old Spice Man Takes All Internet Marketers To School oldspice 200x133 If you were browsing YouTube yesterday, you probably noticed some lag.  You might have even noticed some scary-looking (and Google-branded) 503 errors like I did.  Well, YouTube has officially acknowledged the issue and says they're working on it.  They didn't say what it was, of course, but they did rule out one suspected reason:  Old Spice Man.  Here's an actual quote from their spokesman:

"Although there's been speculation that the Old Spice Guy's 'manliness' is affecting our servers resulting in a slower service for some YouTube users, our engineers have discovered another issue," he said. "We're working hard to address it and should have the site back to normal shortly."

Most of you have no doubt noticed the PR coup by Old Spice this week, as the star of their recent commercials, Old Spice Guy, began responding directly to fans and media members via Twitter, YouTube, and more.

For instance, he made this video for Celebrity Gossip blogger Perez Hilton:

And this one for Kevin Rose, of Digg:

But he also engaged the Reddit community directly, going so far as to respond directly in the comments on that site, even uploading photos and recording personalized voicemail messages to prove he was legit.  He even granted a request to propose marriage to a woman on behalf of her boyfriend:

The campaign is over now, and the direct messages have stopped.  But their impact will last for quite some time.  No one has ever done anything quite like this, at least not on this scale.  And despite the obvious marketing motive, the boldness and humor of the initiative has won over virtually the whole dang Internet.

Here is Old Spice Man's final message, fittingly addressed to "everyone”:

This is the future of marketing your business online.  I hope we can all see that.  It's not just creating a website.  It's not just uploading hilarious videos of you on a horse.  It's not just creating a Facebook page and sending out friend requests.  It's jumping in with both feet and fully embracing and engaging multiple social media tools to connect with fans.

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Of course, the immediate future will consist of a thousand cheap rip-offs of this idea.  But I'd like to submit that the most ingenious thing about this Old Spice campaign is that they did something no one had ever done before.  It wasn't the specific steps of recording personalized videos and messages or posting images… those were just pieces of the whole.  The real "secret sauce" was how many miles outside the box they were in their thinking.  The originality, not the actual blueprint, is what made this a success.  The next company that comes along and creates personalized videos for media members and voicemail greetings and proposal messages for regular users will be a copycat… a mimic.  There may be some juice to it for the first few rip-offs, but that will quickly die off.

YouTube and Facebook and Twitter are just tools.  You still have to build something unique with them. Because if you just use them to build what everyone before you has built, you'll be ignored.  But if you get all Frank Lloyd Wright with those tools, and build yourself a marketing version of Falling Water, then you're going to find yourself receiving praise for pulling off the latest Internet marketing coup.

Still no idea what's been slowing down YouTube, though.  But I'm hoping they have it resolved before the launch of whatever Old Spice has planned next.

  • SumDumWhiteBoy

    I'm pretty sure this works because of the Silverfish hand catch. I think the marketing types miss the point of ownage. Didn't that sink into harvard yet?

    Who doesn't like a guy who totally owns the mundane. Everything you ever wanted to do that doesn't involve being in a comic book, perfectly, with one hand.

    Oh yeah well planned and of course Old Spice say go. The Character and actor combine as an iconic symbol of the age I personally grew up in. He's the anti-anti-hero-who's-busy in daily life.

    Flawless victory. All foes vanquished. Total ownage.

    It's important for every well groomed superman to properly declare his finishing move.

    Push it to the limit.

  • David

    I want to see a sewer fish hand catch

  • https://newsspark.com/site/login Chelsea Langevin


    This campaign was undoubtedly well-planned and strategic. Old Spice took familiar tools and the concept of virality to new levels--it wasn't haphazardly successful.

    The firm used a popular communication tool to move the company outside of its comfort zone. People like to be entertained and engaged by a brand they know and respect, and that's what really hit it home.

    -Chelsea Langevin

  • Christophor Rick

    And most importantly Jeremy...top hats are for gentlemen...

  • https://mobile.twitter.com/allyson_wilson Allyson Finch Wilson

    I know that this Portland firm will likely win all types of ad industry awards, but, respectfully I would just like to try and add something to temper the adulation. What Old Spice's ad firm did was INCREDIBLY entertaining-- but, as a member of the comms industry-- having experience on campaigns, marketing and ad campaigns-- what they did is nothing that a creative team hasn't come up with before sitting around a table-- the difference is, their client (Old Spice) green lit it. With all respect to the author-- you have to be very old school not to be thinking about how all these social media tools integrate with one another. And, in the not too distant past I worked on a campaign where we took twitter questions and posted YouTube answers-- these ad guys just used that concept in a different capacity-- and that's not to say the concept was something we came up with-- the 'thinking outside the box' with social media tools probably had its genesis with Obama and the CNN YouTube debates I think. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there because I don't think its fair to act like this firm came up with something new. As we all know, corpoate clients can be very leery about things that are out of their comfort zone--such as social media. If anything, the kudos go to Old Spice for being a corporate client with the courage to step outside their box.

    • https://mobile.twitter.com/philbenoit philbenoit

      I would agree with Allyson but the genius is in convincing the client about the benefits of such a move. Nothing in advertising is amazingly brand new but the power comes from the ability to educate your client to the point they go "let go, get this done"

      The reason this was so successful was not just the answers to tweets etc but the rapid deployment of the videos, communicating to tweet replies from earlier videos is what makes this so special.

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    Brilliant!3 woofs! Woof Woof Woof (I eat fish... silver fish are nice shiny objects flling from the sky!)

    • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

      *filling = Falling :-)

  • MaryMcC

    Dearest Anonymous,

    I gladly accept your nomination and hope my reign as your 147th king will be long and full of win! Thank you for your continued support!

    The Old Spice Man

    Original comment: Anonymous wrote "Use old spice. Our dads use it, our grand fathers used it, because it works. Stop asking or begging for hugs. You smell bad!"

    Re: Anonymous | Old Spice

  • http://www.northsideseo.com/ Anthony D. Nelson

    Silverfish Hand Catch!

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      haha, that makes much more sense than "sewer fish"

  • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

    sewer fish hand catch