Old Spice - "Spraying Boys Into Men"

Navigating the Old Spice Home Page


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About Old Spice

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The Affect of Old Spice and Procter and Gamble

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The Corporate Identity of Old Spice

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Old Spice Prospectus

Old Spice is a company that produces personal hygiene products for men. Their products include soap and body wash, deodorant and antiperspirant, body spray and fragrances, trimmers and shavers, and much more. I chose Old Spice for this research product because in my opinion, their advertisements are some of the funniest ever created. Beyond the humor of how Old Spice sell their products, I have long used and enjoyed their products. It is also interesting to observe Old Spice’s survivability. Old Spice has not only stood the test of time in a rapidly changing world but has persevered, becoming and remaining one of the top men’s hygiene products over the course of nearly a century. As Old Spice is one of many brands that has been acquired by Procter and Gamble, a small part of the research project will also be dedicated to the focus on Procter and Gamble’s company.

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Over the last few years, Old Spice has been mercilessly attacking the advertisement world with a plethora of hilarious marketing campaigns. It is almost certain that any American with a television or an internet connection can tell you the exact details of at least one Old Spice commercial and mimic the classic Old Spice whistle. The modern way that Old Spice advertises, using comical, in-your-face and off-the-wall marketing techniques, is very effective in reaching today’s short attention spanned audience. However, these modern commercials are much different from how Old Spice advertised decades ago.

My research on Old Spice will examine the ways they target their audience, the age demographic of their target audience, the history of Old Spice, the people they use for their advertisements, and how their advertisement tactics have evolved over time. Research on this paper will consist of web searches from scholarly sources, books on advertising, actual advertisements from YouTube, and if possible, an interview with a member from the advertisement team at Old Spice. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of Old Spice’s corporate identity, I will be analyzing the inner workings of their company. The analysis will include how Old spice treats their employees, whether they take part in any type of charitable donations or contributions, how they create and test their products, and how they handle negative situations such as dissatisfied customers and product recalls.

- Tom Neilly

About Old Spice – What They Sell and Who They Sell it to

Since 1938, Old Spice has been selling their scent and products to men of all ages. Beginning as an inexpensive aftershave, Old Spice has evolved into a plethora of different smells and products, including the original aftershave, and several different types of deodorant, soap, body wash, shampoo, and shaving cream. William Lightfoot Schultz, the original creator of Old Spice, was wise to use a colonial and nautical theme for the packaging of the Old Spice products. Nearly 80 years later, this theme has changed very little, proving that it was an effective choice for appealing to men. The ships displayed on Old Spice products has become synonymous with the Old Spice brand and have the ability to invoke a feeling of adventure, which is appealing to men. Imagine 300 years ago, there was no one braver than a seafaring explorer ready to leave his entire world behind in search of new land, and that image really resonates with the targeted audience of men. The ships also symbolize trade, which coincides with the ‘Spice’ in Old Spice – as if the ingredients, when blended perfectly together form this iconic smell, are foreign and exotic (Girvin).

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Besides having a great product, Old Spice has been able to sustain its popularity with their ability to evolve with younger generations, and their innovativeness in marketing and advertisements. In 1981, long before the advent of the internet, 90% of Old Spice’s advertising was done using television, with the other 10% going to magazines (Dougherty). In 1981, this was effective, as advertising mediums in general were limited to television, print, and radio. But since the arrival of the world wide web, companies have had the opportunity to change not only the way they advertise, but the way they interact with their customers – and Old Spice has mastered this new technique.

Over the last few years, Old Spice has been a pioneer in marketing and advertising, setting a very high bar for other corporations. For the first time in history, companies have the ability to go one-on-one with individual customers in real time, using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And Old Spice has been taking full advantage of this since 2010 when they launched the “Man your man could smell like” advertising campaign, starring Isaiah Mustafa (Borden).

After the exploding popularity of Isaiah Mustafa in his Old Spice campaign, Old Spice decided to expand on the campaign using a different approach. Using a combination of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, Old Spice and Mustafa teamed up again to perform a brutal two day, real time campaign where fans and customers could ask Mustafa questions via Twitter and Facebook. Over those two days, Mustafa filmed 180 response videos using YouTube to air them, and it was wildly successful.

Since then, Old Spice has gone from one ridiculous campaign to another, using different actors and themes, all of which are equally original and hilarious, and sometimes even a bit controversial. Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying that you have probably talked about them. And that was Old Spice’s plan all along - to get people talking. Talking about these bizarre and ludicrous advertisements leads to people laughing about them and ends with people buying the product.

The Affect of Old Spice and Procter and Gamble on the World

Procter and Gamble are known around the world as not only a giant conglomerate that provides people everywhere with basic home necessities, but also for their charitable deeds and for having a strong influence on improving the overall condition of Earth. P&G globally donates in excess of 100 million dollars a year, much of it which goes towards children’s health and education in countries all around the world. P&G employees are often recognized for their own personal time spent volunteering for charitable events. In 2011 alone, P&G employees volunteered a staggering 52,500 hours of their own time for such events. In 2012, the United Way, (a non-profit charity organizing organization), awarded P&G the “Spirit of America” award for philanthropy (Ponzar).

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P&G is also well respected for their ethics as a corporation as a whole, which applies not only to Old Spice, but all of the many brands that they control. How they treat their employees, safety policies, the safety and strength of their products, and meeting and exceeding expectations and requirements from government health policies are all held in the highest regard (P&G).

P&G’s constant innovativeness has helped reduced animal testing as well. As many of P&G’s brands are used on skin, they must first obviously be fully tested against allergic reactions and any other lurking danger. In 2013, Dr. Harald Schlatter of P&G discusses a new skin test that will further reduce the need for animal testing. The test, called the Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay, has already been approved in Europe and will soon be used globally. The test is performed using test tubes rather than actual animals, and is actually a faster and more efficient method of testing. And P&G does not hoard their knowledge. In attempts to influence other companies to do more humane testing, they open-source all of their methods for others to use. With the millions of dollars and countless hours of man power they spend on this research a year, it is commendable that they openly share their findings (McDougall).

The Corporate Identity of Old Spice

First, let us explore the term “corporate identity”. To me, corporate identity is everything that a brand is and stands for. The history and survivability, the perseverance, the attitude, the dedication to consumers and community, what it sells, what it looks like, the people that represent it, the people in charge of it, and decisions these people make are all things that, combined together, make up the corporate identity of a brand.

Old Spice has been able to reach its audience with all three of the Aristotelian appeals. The ethos of Old Spice, and their parent company, Procter and Gamble has been proved through their good deeds and charitable activities. From their efforts to fund research for reduced animal testing to their donations towards the improvement of health and education around the world, Old Spice and P&G has convinced me that their ethics are strong.

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Every Old Spice advertisement is bursting with pathos in some form or another; whether it be the ability to reach men on a “manly” level, or seducing women using attractive men that specifically address “the ladies” in their advertisements, or the uncanny way they can make us laugh with their often nonsensical absurdity in their advertisements. One way or another, they tend to reach us on an emotional level – sure, it may not be a deep, life-changing message that brings tears to our eyes, but regardless, the advertisements always find a way to grab hold of the audience.

As far as logos in concerned, every Old Spice product comes with a 100% money back guarantee, even if the longevity of the brand alone is not enough logic to give it a try. Consumers have nothing to lose, making it a safe, four dollar investment.

Old Spice, having been in existence since 1937, (1938 for men), has not only survived, but thrived throughout the course of its history. With the amount of competition in the world of hygiene products, it is not easy to have such a successful and long-lasting product, but the ability that Old Spice possesses to evolve and adapt throughout the years has proven that it is a brand with an extremely strong corporate identity. Adaptable, sexy, smart, innovative, hilarious, and ridiculous, and backed by one of the most respected companies in the world, (P&G), gives this brand my two thumbs up.