We asked the questions a few weeks ago, “Can Sex Sell Soap?” as the Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa Accepts Fabio’s Challenge. Media measurement company Visible Measures has an answer for us in one of their recent blog posts, “Old Spice Is Killing It on YouTube Again, but Sales Are Down Double-Digits.” According to their measurement tool, the latest videos have pulled in 17 million viewers and 50,000 comments so far – wow!
That is pretty remarkable engagement for an online video but what is the return? Based on their post, results aren’t exactly what Proctor & Gamble (parent of Old Spice) had in mind:
Cooling the deals has led Old Spice to a 24% sales decline in the four weeks ended July 10 and a 9% decline for the 12-weeks period vs. a year ago, according to SymphonyIRI data. Yet it’s still ahead of Axe for each of those periods and, by a smaller margin, for the 52 weeks. And any way you cut it, Old Spice is the leading men’s brand now — though that data doesn’t cover Walmart, club and dollar stores. And Beiersdorf’s Nivea and Henkel’s Right Guard are gaining more ground than either of late.
A year ago, boosted by Mr. Mustafa and lots of coupons, Old Spice sales were up more than 100% in the July period. But comparing the most recent four weeks to two years ago, with more normal promotion on both ends, Old Spice body wash sales still are up more than 50%. Mr. Mustafa must get credit for some of that, though inducing people to try Old Spice by largely giving it away last year and a price per ounce that now remains lower than Axe hasn’t hurt either.
So the campaign did help bring some attention to Old Spice but of course everything that goes up, must come down. Will Old Spice continue with a third iteration of the video series?