Customer Magnetism Review: Old Spice Man Viral Marketing

Customer Magnetism is starting a new blog feature called Customer Magnetism Review. We have put together a series for you this week reviewing various events, websites and products that you might want to check out – or not. After this week, it will become a monthly feature.

Viral marketing. We hear this phrase all the time. I’ll be honest – a lot of the time, I don’t know how viral a lot of marketing strategies really become, as much as just well-distributed. Truly viral videos aren’t selling anything, unless you’d say that “David after Dentist” was advertising say . . . laughing gas. However, every once in a while, those well-distributed marketing bits also become viral, or even meme worthy. And I think we’re looking at one this week.

If you’ve ever seen one of those Old Spice commercials on TV or in the movie theatre, you’ve probably laughed at the Old Spice Man (who is actually named Isaiah Mustafa). It’s hard not to when someone is so inexorably, straight-facedly masculine. Nevertheless, for me, that’s where it ended. I saw the commercial, laughed, and then went on to watch another half hour of commercials before the previews ever even started. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, Old Spice was a Promoted Trending Topic on Twitter, which if you haven’t noticed, such a thing exists now. I didn’t give it a second notice at that point because what do I care about Trending Topics that are paid and promoted to that status? I did start caring when I began to see people I was following RTing these video responses to tweets from @oldspice. People write to him on Facebook or Twitter, and he (or Old Spice, whichever) will respond to some by creating a very special, possibly awkward, definitely hilarious video specifically for them.

Today, everyone on Twitter seems to be trying to get a video from the Old Spice guy. In order to get one, they have to publicly write to him though, showing their friends that they’re writing to him, which shows everyone that they could try for one as well. The cycle continues.

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Now I’m not promoting Old Spice, and I have no use for Old Spice, and I don’t even want “my man” to “smell like the Old Spice man” as the commercials say – but as an example of truly viral marketing: I approve.