After Earlier Doubts, Old Spice Guy Now Tied To 107% Sales Spike

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Old Spice Guy — the attractive towel-clad gentleman pitching Old Spice who created nearly 200 videos, many in response to Twitter users’ questions.  Those who relish hyperbole might say that the Old Spice Guy appeared to be so viral, so popular that he nearly exploded the internet due to his site traffic.

After all, video analytics were through the roof, with their most popular video, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” garnering nearly 20 million views.

But, what about sales?

Earlier this week, rumors began to spread around the web that even with the incredible social media pick-up, Old Spice sales numbers were down.  Some early reports indicated that numbers were down by as much as 7%, which left many marketers shaking their heads in confusion, wondering how could that be possible?

Some nay-sayers went so far as to vocally declare the Old Spice campaign to be off-target and too much of “pounding” product message to positively influence sales. Such analysis indicates that great social media success didn’t necessary mean overall brand success.

At the root of this numbers scrutiny debacle appears to be some miscommunication about sales numbers, and at its core, a lack of trust about the tactical sales power of social media (The 7% decrease in sales figure was actually for a different Old Spice product called Red Zone After Hours that was not promoted in the Old Spice Guy videos).

Working in social media is often about faith in time-tested communication strategies, understanding user trends, and trusting that word of mouth works.  This type of work also requires patience in not jumping the gun too early and being smart when reading statistics. For instance, did no one else question that the product that dropped 7% wasn’t actually mentioned in any of the 180 videos before they denounced the campaign’s effectiveness?

For any non-believers still out there, Old Spice body wash sales actually rose 107% in the past month.  Sales rose 55% within the past three months (Nielsen).


The Tweeteriffic Campaign for President in 2012

In the fight for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, multiple locations will be come into play. Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida – all sound familiar as hotly contested swing states.

However, it now appears that, for the first time, much of the fight will travel online.  Many of Republican candidates have already migrated to Twitter, including such high ranking party members as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, amongst others.

Gingrich leads the group in followers, with 1,308,757 while Palin has 191,164 followers. Huckabee has 83,297 followers while Romney trails with less than 15,000.

Yet, the number of followers candidates claim isn’t really indicative of their overall popularity or their propensity to win the bid. Many candidates’ supporters may have a limited knowledge of how/why Twitter exists at all – but traditional media outlets certainly know better. After all, it only takes is one high-profile media outlet to print a tweet and the topic can immediately go viral.

Consider Palin’s social media gaffe from earlier this week. While trying to insert herself into the Ground Zero mosque debate, she blatantly invented a word a la former President George Bush; she urged Muslims to “Refudiate” their plans to build the mosque.  A Google search for “Palin” and “Refudiate” now leads to over 215,000 online posts ranging from Time to The Washington Post

But that wasn’t all she did last week on Twitter; she also completed important business. Palin announced her endorsement Karen Handel in the Georgia Republican primary.

The insight here is that social media will likely be as powerful as traditional media in terms of marketing, PR and, ultimately, winning the Republican bid. 

Perhaps a Republican candidate will even try to follow the Obama handbook and wage an entire grassroots campaign waged online.  One thing’s for sure — it’s going to be an exciting 18 months!

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BabyCenter Survey Reveals Levels of Influence amongst Social Media Moms

Marketers often consider Mommy bloggers and social media moms en mass — as one powerful and influential segment.  However, new data from BabyCenter LLC suggests that there multiple varieties of social media moms, and some are more influential than others.

BabyCenter categorized social moms into two main categories: the Influencers and the Influenced. Interestingly, the Influencers comprise only 18% of the entire social mom population yet  wield 78% of overall influence.  

The Influencers are described as: