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The Difference Between Social & Viral.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Who could my man smell like?” Might sound ridiculous, but this question can lead you to a prime example of a campaign starting virally and becoming social; the current Old Spice video campaign. This series of videos feature former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa, known in these commercials as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Haven’t seen the video, watch it and other now!

A recent Ad Age article released the available results (so far) of this campaign and how it has not only raised the sales volume of Old Spice, but how it has gained success for other Proctor & Gamble brands as well.  The popularity of these videos skyrocketed in just a matter of days.

“As of July 18, Old Spice, with 94 million views, had become the No. 1 all-time most-viewed sponsored channel on YouTube”… “Old Spice had eight of the top 11 most-popular videos on YouTube on July 16. In the six days following the start of Mr. Mustafa’s personalized videos, he reached more than 100 million followers.”

Ad Age, July 26, 2010

This campaign is clearly a success, but it might be surprising to know that these results don’t take into account the recent social push of videos with customized messages. That addition would blow up these statistics even more.

Caroline Melberg, Marketing Maverick of the Social Media Incubator, has a theory about these results. “While the viral video was great by starting as a TV commercial and as a video on YouTube with people sharing, the social phenomenon began once they tapped into social media with the customized messages and the engagement factor,” said Melberg. “Yes, Mustafa is an attractive man wearing few items of clothing – so he would most likely attract attention anyway – but the point is that the social engagement is what really catapulted the success of this campaign.”

How can you tap into this type of engagement with your potential customers?  Social media allows you to have one-on-one conversations with your audience, which means that the days of “set-it-and-forget-it” marketing are a thing of the past.  With social media, you can create relationships with many people, one at a time, and that’s incredibly powerful for building your brand and growing your business.

Published on: July 27, 2010