Hey Old Spice haters, sales are up 107%

Old spice victory

The applause for Old Spice's incredible YouTube blitz this month hadn't even died down when critics started panning the effort as ineffective. Rushing to judgment, some bloggers cited 52-week sales figures from before the video responses launched as a sign that Wieden + Kennedy's efforts were underwhelming. Contrarians jumped on these early reports as a chance to bash clever social media stunts in general. But now the numbers are in, and it's hard to argue that this campaign doesn't just smell like a man; it smells like victory. In her new analysis of the Old Spice video push, Adweek's Eleftheria Parpis has this summary: "According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent." So isn't that enough to satisfy the critics? Perhaps, but only grudgingly. In his Adweek column today, a curmudgeonly Joseph Jaffe gives the campaign a mild share of praise amid a thicket of caveats: "It's hard to determine how much of (the sales increase) was due to an aggressive couponing campaign which was in market simultaneously, but directionally, there does appear to be a correlation between creative resonance, social momentum and sales." Not quite a resounding endorsement, but it'll have to do.

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