Every year when I was a kid, I remember lovingly wrapping a bottle of Old Spice aftershave for my dad to open under the tree on Christmas morning. And every single year, my dad would act surprised and manage to muster a genuine look of appreciation on his face. It was only years later that I found out he wasn’t so fond of the stuff. I look back now and find it quite comical.
Originally marketed as a women’s fragrance in 1937, Old Spice for men followed in 1938 in its classic buoy-shaped bottle, known as Early American Old Spice. Like mine, Old Spice after shave and cologne became a staple product in homes through traditional radio, television and print ads.
By the time Procter & Gamble purchased Old Spice from its original founders in 1990, it was tired and in need of a new lease on life. P&G has made a number of changes over the last 20 years including the branding, packaging and product lines. But the most impressive changes were attributed to its marketing, transitioning from traditional paid media to social media – and in the process, re-invented the brand. After all, for years it was known for being loved on your dad – not your man.
In February 2010, Old Spice introduced their new sex symbol pitchman, Isaiah Mustafa, referred to by its audiences as ‘Old Spice Guy’. They launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” television spot, and it was a huge success.