It started on Feb 7, 2010 - Super Bowl day in the US and one of the largest TV events in the calendar. The commercial breaks are no less high profile and 2010 was a year full of surprises. Pepsi was conspicuous by its absence - choosing instead to launch its Refresh Project, veteran TV actress Betty White became one of America's most in-demand comedy performers after her appearance in a Snickers ad, and a certain historic fragrance worn by everyone's grandfather unveiled its latest TV spot: Old Spice, "the man your man could smell like".
The clip actually appeared on YouTube a few days before, to little or no media attention, but after its national broadcast the "man your man" 30-second spot was a massive hit. Its star, Isaiah Mustafa, became an overnight celebrity appearing on top-drawer talk shows, such as Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey.
The original clip went viral, and global, boosted by winning a Cannes Lions in the summer (it won a Cannes Film Lion Grand Prix). Shortly after, Old Spice unveiled another two executions featuring Mustafa.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and soon social network platforms were full of fan made parodies.
Old Spice needed a way to capitalise on the success of the series, and also find a way to allow fans of the campaign to interact directly with Mustafa. With interest and traffic on the Youtube channel at a high, it was important that leverage the campaign's popularity before the next big viral hit came along.
Old Spice filmed 186 video responses to messages, comments and tweets that had been posted to "the man your man could smell like", many of which were posted by celebrities and well known personalities. These messages, delivered by Mustafa himself were then posted on Youtube, and each become viral sensations in their own right.
The original creative scooped the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2010.
On the first day of the "response" strategy, there were 5.9 million YouTube views, and the following day Old Spice responses videos accounted for eight out of the top eleven most popular videos on the web.
The brand's Twitter following increased 2700%. The Old Spice YouTube channel became the #1 most viewed branded channel. Since the initial TV-spot in February, the campaign has generated more than 1.4 billion impressions for the brand (as of August 2010).
Six months after launch, sales of Old Spice body wash grew 27% year on year, to become the #1 body wash brand in the US. During the "Responses" element of the campaign, sales grew 105%
The campaign was shortlisted at the 2011 Festival of Media Awards in the "Best Social Strategy", Media effectiveness: Engagement" categories, winning the award for "Media Effectiveness: Engagement".