Marketing Lessons to Learn from Old Spice’s Brilliant New Campaign

Marketing Lessons to Learn from Old Spice’s Brilliant New Campaign

Marketing inspiration can be found in many places… in fact, it’s often better to look for inspiration from industries other than your own. It helps you stand out – after all, if you’re emulating your favorite “celebrity” who is in the same industry as yourself, your brand won’t stand out – it’ll just be a second version of something else. And since you aren’t second rate to me, let’s chat about some lessons you can learn elsewhere.

Marketing Lessons to learn from Old Spice's Brilliant New Campaign

I love finding examples of companies who use a ton of personality in their online marketing campaigns. Old Spice has had a viral campaign before, and it looks like they’ve done it again.

Their target market is obviously men (considering their products…) but what makes them stand out is a commitment to using their Entertainer Brand Archetype to differentiate their product. In other words, they’re being way more awesome than the other deodorants.

If you don’t want me to spoil the surprise before we chat about what you can learn from them, go here: (Just make sure you come back, you!)

old spice marketing campaign lessons

Lessons to Apply to Your Brand

1) Production value counts. When you really want something to work, take the time to make it great. Old Spice made not just one of these faux-sites, but NINE, and each one is a work of art in itself. Those nine sites are the best of the worst parts of the internet, and are completely believable in all of their cringe-worthy glory. They really over delivered on the entertainment value.

Lesson: What can you overdeliver on? What can you do better than anyone else, even if no one expects you to?

2) When you find something that works, keep using it. Old Spice first used former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa in their ads in 2010, and here they are – 4 years later, using him to rock the online world again.

Lesson: Think back. What have you done in the past that people really responded to? How can you take what you learned there and do it again? Don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel every month.

3) Make your marketing about your client – not about you. Old Spice doesn’t talk about their product until they earn your attention. Even then, they don’t spend 30 seconds talking about their spray bottle, unique scent, or the price – only about the main benefit that you’ll get by wearing it.

Lesson: What is the emotional benefit that your product or service gives people? Also, check out your sales pages. If they are too feature heavy, strip that down. Make people care first.

4) Be ultra-shareable. After you experience the “internet-vention” and watch the video, the website gives you the option to watch 8 other videos, prank your friends, and share on social media. I dare you to try to not watch more than one.

Lesson: Don’t underestimate the power of making your content super-easy to share. Include “tweet this” links, share buttons, Pinterest-ready graphics, and whatever else you can to make it easy for people to be advocates for your work.

5) OWN YOUR BRANDALITY (brand personality). Old Spice is a big ol’ brand with a ton of history. Yet, they’ve embraced their Entertainer brand archetype and are rocking it. Their messages aren’t safe. Some will probably find them offensive. However, more people will likely be entertained and remember them for it.

Lesson: You’re unique. Own it.

Have you taken the BRANDALITY quiz to find out what your brand archetype is yet? Go ahead, it’s free!


  • Sarah Freed

    This is really interesting! For those of us using your archetypes, should what we 'overdeliver' match our archetype? I'm wondering what an Innocent like myself can overdeliver. Thanks!
    • Kaye Putnam

      Great question, Sarah! As an innocent archetype I would try to over deliver by either ease of doing business (like zappos who offered free shipping both ways, when competitors made you pay) or through over delivering happiness (like my photo lab that would surprise clients with suckers and candy in our photo deliveries). Hope this helps!