The Bad News About Old Spice

Old Spice’s man on the horse has set the bar for corporate social media. And why not? Seems like the whole world saw it and shared their reactions online. Millions of users posted their consumer feedback. They watched the ads over and over again on YouTube, commented, liked it, voted for it, replied to it, and initiated an Internet frenzy with a strong link to the brand. The metrics are certainly off the chart compared to anything else Old Spice has ever done in marketing.

The detractors will tell you that the online consumer response didn’t move the needle on sales of Old Spice products. In fact, there was a spike in sales that might also be attributed to discounted pricing that ran concurrently with the ad campaign.

Do you want the truth? Can you handle the truth?

Truth is, they’re both wrong. Old Spice looks good in the short-term, and not so good in the intermediate-term. But the real win for the brand is to be had over the long-term. What Old Spice has essentially done is bought the attention of millions of consumers who had previously not paid attention to the brand before this campaign.

Think about what this long-term success means for the brand’s next campaign. What defines a brand at its core is building viewer expectation and setting precedence. Viewers are now watching and waiting to see what Old Spice does next.

If the brand reemerges soon with similarly brilliant entertainment content, the reception will be tremendous. If it can successfully repeat this process over and over, you can be certain that years from now, Old Spice will be enjoying the fruits of its investments.

See folks, social media — just like all marketing, business, and life — is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t get to work out one day and then sit back and admire your abs the next day. Nobody places a single stock trade and then retires.

Old Spice just expended a lot of money, energy, and creative genius in order to earn the right to do it again. Most companies haven’t earned that right, so Old Spice currently enjoys a tremendous advantage over the corporate social media status quo. If you think that’s a raw deal, you’re probably in the wrong business.