Why the Old Spice ad campaign still has everyone talking a decade later

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad became a viral success virtually overnight – current views stand at over 57 million. Why did it do so well, and what can your brand learn from it?


In an uncut shot and continuous monologue, “Old Spice Man” Isaiah Mustafa transitions from a bathroom, to a sailboat, to riding a horse on the beach, all without breaking eye-contact with the camera. It’s wildly smug, sexy, and unexpected for Old Spice. What can your brand take away from it?

Change up your target audience

The brand changed their target audience from men to women (who generally make purchasing decisions), and took the “old” out of Old Spice by tailoring it to millennials and showcasing it on social media platforms. It worked because they went in the complete opposite direction to their competition, who had very male-centric ads. 


Engagement is key

What made it the most popular interactive campaign in history? Audience engagement. The team filmed 186 video responses to fans’ and celebrities’ posted questions, which were then uploaded to YouTube. It blew up and caused a sensation. 

Takeaway: If you find your campaign’s gained momentum with your followers, keep them engaged while keeping your messaging true to your brand’s voice and image.


The campaign earned: 

  • 1.2 billion media impressions
  • 2700% increase in Twitter followers
  • 800% increase in Facebook fan interaction
  • 300% increase in website traffic


Create experience-driven ads and creative marketing strategies with the help of Brand Cartel.