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Five Lessons from the Old Spice Man A look inside the successful new media campaign from an old-school brand

By Craig Reiss

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Lessons From the Old Spice ManThey were the two days that shook the viral marketing world: Back in July, Old Spice, a decidedly old-school Procter & Gamble brand, unleashed a social media blitz so profoundly brilliant that it not only changed the rules of social network marketing, it may have written them for the first time.

Chances are, you're one of the millions who watched at least one of the YouTube videos by Isaiah Mustafa, the shirtless baritone who plays the very manly Old Spice Man in TV commercials. You probably also dismissed the Old Spice phenomenon as an oddity of riches--something only a marketing behemoth like P&G could exploit. But dissect the campaign's principles and practices, and you'll find it's not only entirely applicable to the small-business owner, but an essential (and low-cost) opportunity as well. Let's take a look inside.

Create a strong persona
You need a character who captures your brand positioning and inspires people to interact. The Old Spice Man appeals to women (hey, most men don't wear a scent to please other men) but uses insult humor that appeals to men. You can go for a humorous persona, but make sure you can sustain it. Otherwise, hire a comic to play the role. People will think it's you, only funnier. And remember: Humor may not be the best option for your business. Your character might provide service, empathy, advocacy or be full-on-raving crazy. Only you know what's right.

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