Dos Equis vs. Old Spice: Maximizing the Impact of a Brand Advertiser’s Campaign

Deciding on your marketing mix can be a daunting task. Creating and executing on a campaign these days requires the juggling of myriad touch points with your consumers and determining the most effective recipe.

We all know that the objective is to juice product sales. As it turns out, a quantitative analysis of campaign impressions and consumer interaction across these multiple touch points can provide valuable metrics with which to help achieve this success.

Offline/Online Channel Integration

You’re probably familiar with two of the most popular ad campaigns today: Old Spice’s “Smell like a Man” and the Dos Equis’ “World’s Most Interesting Man.” Both campaigns feature macho pitchmen and their various adventures, and their similarity extends beyond the content alone.

These campaigns provide interesting insight into a growing trend in advertising that integrates both the offline and online channels. The TV commercials are so attention-grabbing that consumers feel compelled to engage online and share the experience with their friends, repeat the tag lines ad nauseum to each other, and even create their own versions of the commercials for distribution via social media.

Both campaigns have dedicated Facebook pages with more than 700,000 fans and appeal to the same general audience, but they also have some stark differences in their associated search behavior. So what is it about their online search marketing strategies that differ and which advertiser is winning the battle in this regard?

The World’s Most Interesting Man has remained a successful campaign for about two years now. Its peak search volume of 270,000 per month (including both branded and campaign specific keywords), represented a fairly impressive number of people demonstrating interest in a particular brand.

But Old Spice’s “Smell like a Man” commercials launched in February, and its related searches have already peaked at more than 1.8 million searches per month! It’s only when we analyze their particular search strategies that we can better understand why such a differential exists.

Old Spice had two primary differentiators from Dos Equis: a robust search engine optimization (SEO)/paid search strategy on traditional search engines, as well as a dedicated channel combined with paid search inside of YouTube.

SEO & Paid Search Strategies

SEO and paid search strategy on traditional search engines is pretty straightforward. If you look at a SERP for [old spice”, you’re immediately presented with in the top paid slot the top two organic slots, and the third organic slot driving you to their Twitter page.

Try the same for [dos equis” and you’ll find no paid search at all and occupying only the top two organic slots.

As a big proponent of “digital shelf space” on a SERP, I feel the value in driving traffic and begetting more search activity is apparent (imagine if your product covered 80 percent of the shelf space in a supermarket as opposed to only 30 percent how much more you would sell). Old Spice has invested more heavily in their paid search strategy and SEO presence which in turn is engaging their brand conscious audience further down the funnel with a higher degree of engagement.

Use YouTube, My Friends

The critical down-funnel activity through which these searchers are engaging is re-experiencing the campaign via YouTube, which interestingly is the second largest search engine in the U.S. (after Google, of course), with more than 3.5 billion searches occurring on the site each month. If you’re planning a unique TV commercial campaign, shoring up your YouTube presence is a must.

Knowing that your consumers will search for your content on YouTube to re-experience what they have seen on TV is inevitable. Old Spice clearly took this into consideration, creating an Old Spice specific YouTube channel and does paid search marketing within YouTube to further promote their videos. This coordinated effort has helped drive more than 950,000 [old spice” searches on YouTube per month and 13 million video views; formidable numbers to be sure.

Dos Equis, on the other hand, doesn’t have a dedicated Dos Equis YouTube channel, and relies on its devotees to upload versions of these videos on YouTube. Without a dedicated channel, Dos Equis is also unable to promote the brand via the “promoted videos” feature on YouTube, thereby limiting its ability to control its brand message and positioning, and ultimately resulting in a just 65,000 YouTube searches a month.

Although Dos Equis provides replays of its commercials on its own website — similar to Old Spice — the lack of promotion via YouTube leaves many video views/impressions on the table. As it turns out, Old Spice is eating up those impressions being left on the table, and is actually promoting its video channel on YouTube against Dos Equis searches!

World's Most Interesting Man YouTube

The impact of a brand advertiser’s campaign can be maximized using a coordinated search strategy. While both Old Spice and Dos Equis have seen tremendous viral growth due to their innovative and unique TV campaigns, Old Spice has done a better job utilizing all available digital media channels in conjunction with its TV campaigns to optimize its impact.

And these efforts are generating staggering results, with reports indicating that Old Spice sales have more the doubled since the campaign launched. Early reports also indicated that Dos Equis sales were outperforming the category average, but not by nearly the same magnitude as Old Spice. Perhaps it could have been with more comprehensive digital media campaign that fully leveraged search and the YouTube channels.

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