Old Spice, New Flavour

Do you remember the classic aftershave scent of your grandfather? If you do then you were probably a part of history. Not only was Old Spice one of the only good brands of aftershave available, but it also was one of the best. This brand went down in history as the “grandfather deodorant” brand because its smell reminded the new generation of their grandfathers. In fact this became a problem. All in all the younger generation did not want to be associated with the past. In order to stay afloat, Old Spice came up with a make or break strategy that will keep the brand alive.

That Grandpa Smell

Proctor and Gamble acquired Old Spice in 1990 and then transformed the brand into a body product powerhouse. It was all going good till the brand became associated with old age and the past. In 2008, Wieden and Kennedy launched a marketing campaign called Old Spice Swagger. In the light of this campaign, the “grandpa generation” brand became cool. Furthermore consumers were enjoying the new content. Old Spice was now identified as a “manly smell”.

featured image











Smell Old and Feel New

Old Spice wanted to keep it’s “Glacial Falls” scent because it was their flagship product. Not only did they have to change the narrative, but also carefully choose a target market. Their target market was young men aged between 12 to 34 and Axe was their closest competitor in this demographic. “Smell great without trying” became their mantra for the campaign. In fact, their objective was to capture and retain that elusive young market that kept slipping away.

old spice vs axe











Ideas Ideas Ideas

In essence, “Swagger” became the core idea behind the campaign. All men wanted to posses “swagger”, and it was a cultural currency that was commonly used. Men want to show off some form of attitude in their behavior and they could do that coupled with Old Spice. In addition to giving men that swagger they want, it would also turn them into “strong manly studs from nerdy wimps”. “The scent that makes a difference” were the words that took the web by storm.

smell old feel new












Santa Brought Swag

The original campaigns ran on TV commercials and print media. The new Old Spice commercials have a wider reach with digital marketing channels such as YouTube playing a key role. Old Spice coupled with Google to develop SwaggerizeMe.com where users could upload their image, and the website would display the image along with searchable articles about how cool you are.

swaggerize me













Did it work?

Altogether, the campaign’s success surpassed all expectations. The original goal was to double the sales of “Glacial Falls”.  The campaign quadrupled it. In the coming years, Old Spice built on the original campaign and dominated on all digital marketing channels. Campaigns like “Smell like a man, man” and “Man your man could smell like” are very popular on online platforms. YouTube views for the campaign exceeded 90 million. More videos were created, where Isiah Mustafa, the face of the campaign, actively responded to some of the YouTube comments. This led to an excellent two way communication with the customer and positive E-WOM grew. The swagger commercials laid the ground work for the present Old Spice commercials featuring Terry Crews and the Bearglove.











Old spice has come a long way from the its demise and rebirth. The “Swaggerize Me” campaign has swaggerized the entire brand. It has been able to change it’s brand image and make it attractive to a younger audience. The Old Spice smell is not your grandfather’s smell anymore. It is yours.


Old Spice’s Extreme Makeover. (2004, November 1). Retrieved October 26, 2017, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2004-10-31/old-spices-extreme-makeover

O’Neill, M. (2010, July 22). How Old Spice Swaggerized Their Brand And Men Everywhere. Retrieved October 26, 2017, from http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-old-spice-swaggerized-their-brand-and-men-everywhere/

Susan Fournier, J. A. (2011). The Uninvited Brand. Boston: Elsevier