Old Spice's latest effort to talk to young men -- surreptitiously via its "Internetervention" campaign -- resulted in 17 million views on YouTube and Vimeo in its first week, with 5.4 million in the first two days, according to an Old Spice rep.
"Internetervention," which Old Spice says is designed to end "the most embarrassing mistakes made by guys," includes nine videos for faux products that were initially sprinkled across the Web with nary a mention that Old Spice was behind it all.
These products include Illegal Neck Workout Machine, 100 percent Solid Gold Headset, 100 percent Black Leather Sheets, Cologne with Real Protein in It, Executive Spray Tan Parties, The Push Up Muscle Shirt, Live Inside a Condo Inside a Gym, Bargain Tattoos of America, and Soul Patch Powder.
And the disguised messages seem to resonate. "Executive Spray Tan Parties" alone has nearly 6 million views as of February 5. The Spray Tan Party channel also has 2,300 subscribers.
In addition, the campaign resulted in more than 100,000 shares on Facebook and Twitter and by copying the link in the first week, the rep says.
Calling itself the "authentic grooming brand of mansmanship," Old Spice says it will "never accept men taking the important fundamentals of manhood for granted" and therefore summoned Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa to help stage these "digital manterventions" in messages that appear after a humorous promo for the fictional product.
The campaign launched the week of January 20 with banner ads on sites like Men's Fitness and Maxim. It also included homepage takeovers of sites like Funny or Die and Bleacher Report.
The faux products were initially launched without the main "Internetervention" hub, which allows consumers to stage their own "Interneterventions" by sharing with friends on Facebook, the rep says.
"Internetervention" is the next phase of the brand's "Smellcome to Manhood" campaign, which supports the launch of its Re-fresh Body Sprays that have "technology in it where one spray lasts all day" because it "continues to refresh itself as sweat hits these fragrance molecules," the rep says.
In addition, according to the brand's Scent Responsibly Survey, the average guy starts using body spray at 13 years old. To "demonstrate the important role Old Spice plays in the male coming of age," Smellcome to Manhood also includes a series of TV spots that "humorously illustrate how tough it is for moms to come to grips with the fact that Old Spice is spraying a man on to their sons," the brand says.
For its part, the "Mom Song" has nearly 8 million views as of February 5.
But that's not all. Old Spice says "Smellcome to Manhood" is also an effort to teach "young guys to scent responsibly" because they have a tendency to overspray, the rep says.
To "help end the overspraying epidemic once and for all," Old Spice created a "Scent Responsibly" video, which has 116,000 views.
"The basic idea is that Old Spice has been helping guys navigate the seas of manhood for more than 75 years. It's about masculinity and making sure guys smell like men and act like men," the rep says. "The gist behind the [Internetervention] campaign was to try to help guys with these kind of non-manly missteps that they take so they don't make those life mistakes some people make with spray tan parties and things like that."
@OldSpice has 220,000 followers and 2.6 million likes.
@IsaiahMustafa has also been tweeting about these initiatives to his 79,000 followers.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014