He’s everything you want him to be and more. He plays poker with sharks, swan dives into nearly everything, and never wears a shirt. He is… the most interesting man in the world.
Oh, sorry. Wrong ad campaign.
There is perhaps no better example of good viral marketing than the Old Spice Guy.
His real name is Isaiah Mustafa, and he is awesome. He used a be an NFL wide receiver, playing for the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks. He did some minor acting work over the years, and was eventually picked up for some Old Spice commercials after “Everybody Hates Chris” actor Terry Crews did some bits.
Needless to say, he brought the house down. The ad featured above went viral instantly, and considering what complete crap most ads are nowadays, this one was actually pretty good.
But Old Spice didn’t stop there. After the success of this TV spot, they decided to try something unheard of in commercial history: interactive YouTube videos. Old Spice invited people to ask Mustafa questions, and he responded directly to them. They responded to comments on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Reddit, Digg, and YouTube, and over 180 videos were released over a two-day period. Whoever thought of this idea was a genius, and most definitely got a raise, considering Old Spice sales doubled as a result of the YouTube campaign.
Mustafa’s career has taken off now. He’s making an appearance on the season premiere of “Chuck,” and just got cast in a Jennifer Aniston movie. But what’s really interesting about his popularity is the way fans are responding.
Because of Mustafa’s “I can do anything and better” attitude, many YouTube commenters have compared him favorably to Chuck Norris. Some have even suggested he could take Norris in a fight.
Below are selected video highlights from the two-day adfest.