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Building Brand Personas

“The man your man could smell like” is now the man you see everywhere. Isaiah Mustafa, also known as the Old Spice Guy, took over TVs this summer from The Today Show to The Emmys, where he won the award for Outstanding Commercial. He’s been busy entertaining fans with his cool confidence while carrying the entire Old Spice brand on a single persona. These funny commercials aren’t all that’s launched Old Spice and Mustafa into the public eye, so what is it exactly that has all of America talking?

The commercials are part of a well-placed social media campaign paired with the original advertising campaign. Old Spice utilized YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to make personal connections with the fans of Old Spice Guy. Followers everywhere watched while Mustafa stayed in character for a week at the studio, where he filmed personalized video responses to tweets on his Twitter account. He kept people entertained by doing everything over the top, from flirting with actress Alyssa Milano to proposing to a fan’s girlfriend on his behalf.

This online presence took Mustafa and the brand off the TV screen and into the lives of his fans, giving people a chance to interact with him and form a personal connection. The campaign was a brilliant move for the Procter & Gamble brand; it generated media coverage everywhere. Even people that don’t tweet shared the videos, forwarding them to friends on Facebook. Several of the responses went viral from word of mouth, and Old Spice’s YouTube account boasts more than a million views for almost every video response.

P&G isn’t the only company finding success by building its brand around a persona. Dos Equis’ The Most Interesting Man in the World and Keystone Light’s Keith Stone are other brand personas using humor and wit to connect people to the brand and help sell their products.

While Dos Equis and Keystone Light have not exploded into the world of social media the way Old Spice Guy did, the opportunities for these personas to develop are endless. Keith Stone already has a Facebook page, and The Most Interesting Man in the World has a website devoted to his most famous quotes.

No one knows what steps these brands will take to out-do Old Spice and bring their brands to the next level or what is on the horizon for Old Spice Guy. I can say for certain that I’m excited to see how
these brand characters will develop.

By Megan Cotton

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