By Jack Neff @ AdAge
Published: July 26, 2010
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Isaiah Mustafa, aka "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," has clearly broken through all previous viral-video records and achieved pop-icon status. The question is: How much Old Spice body wash has he sold? And the answer is a bit of a mystery.
Isaiah Mustafa, aka 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.'Since Mr. Mustafa lent his sotto voce humor to the production wizardry of the Wieden & Kennedy ad in February, the Procter & Gamble Co. brand has been consistently gaining market share, even though that's only been enough to erase a deficit for the brand built up earlier. In the 52 weeks ended June 13, it had a roughly flat share in a category that grew a robust 8.6%, according to data from SymphonyIRI.
Then again, some other men's brands also have been making substantial share gains of late, including P&G sibling Gillette and Beierdorf's Nivea. And the thing Old Spice, Gillette and Nivea have in common isn't Mr. Mustafa, but rather multiple national drops of high-value coupons. They included buy-one, get-one-free offers from both P&G brands and up to $4 off a single bottle of Nivea Men from Beiersdorf, reflecting unprecedented levels of promotional intensity in the category.
Source: SymphonyIRI Dove Men+Care launched in February, so has no year-ago comparison.
Meanwhile, Unilever's Dove Men & Care has also picked up some share, albeit with lower-value coupons and higher price points.
The bottom line: Mr. Mustafa and Wieden & Kennedy are clearly selling some body wash, but they may not be responsible for the bulk of Old Spice's sales gain this year.
Consider the four weeks ended June 13, possibly the best month ever for P&G body wash. Old Spice's sales were up 106% from the prior-year period, jumping 4.8 share points in a category that grew 17.7%. But sales of Gillette body wash, also backed by buy-one-get-one-free coupons and by TV ads (but not Mr. Mustafa), were up a lot more, 277% and 3.9 share points, though it's by far a smaller brand in the category.
Nivea men's body wash, backed by little other media support but $4 coupons, saw its sales rise a mere 63% and its share go up 0.5 points.
And Dove Men & Care, the newest brand in the segment and against which all three were defending vigorously, dropped no coupons and was outside the main promotional burst of its February launch, but still held on to 2.4 share points for the four weeks ended June 13, down a bit from the 2.7 points for the 12-week period.
How much of Old Spice's recent gains -- of that 106% bump measured by Symphony IRI in June, for example -- come from Mr. Mustafa's ads and how much from the coupons? "It's impossible to know," said P&G spokesman Mike Norton.
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