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  • Shabbir Akhtar

Case Study on Old Spice “Smell Like a Man, Man” Campaign



A final year Engineering student, who was a few months away from starting his career, in June 2010, after recently cracking his dream job in a different city, was desperately looking to up his dating game when he relocated. As with most single Engineering students, a major portion of his day used to be spent on browsing the internet. And that is when he came across these magical lines in a video on YouTube:


“Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.”



While these words could not keep him from being a single and broke journalist after he relocated to the new city, Old Spice body wash has been by his side for the last 11 years.


Sadly, the above is a true story about me, albeit a little exaggerated. But, as a tech & social blogger in 2009-10, the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign launched by Old Spice on February 5, 2010, is something that I have been writing, talking, and discussing about even until now. And this is not because I am a fan of the campaign and an ardent user of the product, but because this is regarded as one of the most successful digital campaigns both in terms of bottom line it generated and awards.


In this Case Study I deconstruct the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign to go beyond what P&G (the client) and Wieden+Kennedy (the agency) had to say about it.


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