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Spicing up Personalization: How Old Spice Created a Unique Customer Engagement


As a designer I’m constantly trying to find ways to get people to engage with the content I create. There are many different ways to accomplish this, one of which is personalization. The idea behind personalization is that if you create content your audience will relate to and connect with they will engage with it. Old Spice’s recent social media campaign shows us that there is no limit to personalization.

A New Level of Personalization

This moth Old Spice launched a personalized marketing campaign by singling out users on Twitter and directly speaking to them through videos on Youtube. It started on the morning of July 14 when the Old Spice twitter account @oldspice tweeted “Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into twiter, or maybe the Old Spice man shows up @oldspice”.

The Old Spice man did more than just show up; he dominated social media for the next two days and brought personalization to a level I never thought possible.

How it Played Out

After that now infamous tweet, the Old Spice guy spent the next day and a half on the Old Spice Youtube channel directly responding to tweets mentioning @oldspice. He responded to a wide range of people including celebrities, companies, and seemingly random people. The word spread fast about what Old Spice was doing and it seemed like everyone on Twitter was sending a tweet to @oldspice with the hope that they would get a video response.

This wasn’t like responding to a comment or emailing a customer. The videos were unlike anything we’ve ever seen before because it was extreme personalization that happened in real time. The Old Spice man, played by Isaiah Mustafa, worked directly with a film crew and social media strategist to shoot the response videos as people replied to @oldspice on Twitter. It didn’t take weeks, or days to receive a response form the Old Spice Man, the videos were posted within hours of people tweeting @oldspice. As a result, it didn’t take long for the videos to go viral.

Look at what Old Spice was able to accomplish on their Youtube channel in less than 48 hours. (via Mashable.com)

–      180 + videos created

–      The channel received 5.9 million views

–      22,500 comments were posted across the videos

That’s a ton of engagement in a really short period of time. To put that information into perspective you need to compare it to other popular videos, like president Obama’s victory speech and the widely known Susan Boyle video.

The graph from visiblemeasures.com shows that in the first 24 hours the Old Spice response videos gained twice the amount of views as the original Susan Boyle video and beat out president Obama’s victory speech to become the fastest growing online videos of all time! In addition to the popularity of the response videos, the Old Spice Youtube channel as a whole has become the fourth most subscribed to sponsored channel of all time.

What can we learn from this?

By directly responding to a wide range of people with their creative videos, Old Spice was able to create an incredibly fun and personalized user experience that everyone wanted to be a part of. The experience felt so personal that it was almost impossible not to send @oldspice a tweet. I know I felt like Old Spice was really listening to me, and in return I engaged with their brand. So now it’s up to us to get inspired by Old Spice and find innovative ways to personalize our content!