History & Marketing strategies of Old Spice Brand

Company Name: Old Spice
Founder:  William Lightfoot Schultz

Old Spice is an American Brand mainly known for its antiperspirant and deodorant products for the male population. At first, they had started by releasing products targeted for the women.  But after some time, they decided to produce male products too.

Over time, as the male products found more success, the company shifted its focus exclusively on those. Now Old Spice sells grooming products only for male including body washes, deodorants, body sprays, aftershaves, antiperspirants and colognes. 

How It All Started

Shulton Company, founded by William Lightfoot Schultz in 1934, first started manufacturing the Old Spice products. Mr. Schultz was particularly inspired by the Potpourri mixture made by his mother. Thus, the first Old Spice product was a perfume for women named Early American Old Spice, released in the year of 1937.

This product received a big thumbs-up in the market and as a result, it was followed by a new product called Old Spice for Men in 1938. In the year of 1990, Old Spice brand was purchased by the American multinational consumer goods corporation, Procter & Gamble. 



Mr. Schultz wanted to maintain a colonial framework for his products. Thus the products of Early American Old Spice were of the colonial theme. As a result, he chose a nautical theme for his products. So as a trademark, the company started using colonial sailing ships in particular. 

The Friendship and The Grand Turk were the original ships which were used on the packaging. Other ships named Salem, Birmingham, Recovery, John Wesley, Maria Teresa. Java, Hamilton etc. In the 1970s’, Old Spice produced signature perfumes like Old Spice Burley after becoming a fragrance brand shifting from a shaving brand.  

Marketing Strategy of Old Spice Brand and the Reasons behind its Success


  • Product Variety: Mainly dealing with the male population, Old Spice has a large range of products with an astonishing variety. The range starts from fragrances and deodorants to shower gel, shampoo, after shave lotions, shaving cream etc. These products are the most sold items of the company as the target of Old Spice are the age group starting from 18 to 35.  This wide range of items not only makes them unique in the market but also helps them getting more and more consumers. Old Spice also started making items like t-shirts, socks and bath towels which has been helping the brand to expand more and create more unique items.
  • Price: Pocket- friendly items with good quality attract consumers more than anything. Thus the value of products genuinely determines the sell of a product. Considering this, Old Spice has placed a price range from mid-low to high on its products. This makes the products to be available to all kind of customers. As the quality of the products is already known to be very standard, this affordable price range makes the company sell their products even more easily. The financial back up of the brand also extremely strong as P&G is their parent company.
  • Strong Distribution: Old Spice products are distributed everywhere in the world. Thus the items are not only available in big city malls like the Walmart, but are also available in the convenient stores in small cities. Which means all the products can be bought by the target group aged between 18 to 35 years. This strategy not only helps in selling the products more but also helps the company reach to more consumers who did not know about Old Spice.
  • Brand Strength: Old Spice has been a renowned brand since the 1940s’. Their quality has been consistently brilliant over the years, which has made acquiring more consumers. They have created a huge base of loyal customers which has helped them generate more brand strength. Thus, even though the market of grooming products has evolved since these years, no other company has been able to tarnish the reputation of Old Spice. Because of this enormous support behind them, the brand has released more products without any hesitation. It has helped those trying new products as well as expand their business even more.
  • Social Media Activity:  This is the age of social media. Whoever wins the battle in Social Medias, wins the battle in the real world. True to this context, the Old Spice brand has a vast following across the famous social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They are constantly posting about their new products which are yet to reach the market, thus keeping their followers updated and engaged. 



The first ad campaign of Old Spice came out back in the 1970s. With the tagline ’Old Spice, The Mark of a Man’, a man was seen on a surfboard in this advertisement. But Old Spice gained most of the fame when they released the 2010 ad campaign developed by Wieden + Kennedy. This campaign featured the famous actor and Basketball player Isaiah Mustafa and was titled ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’. 

After the success of this campaign, a ‘Response Campaign’ was released by Old Spice which consisted of 186 videos featuring Isaiah talking with fans and celebrities about the brand. This campaign collected more than 40 million views and as Old Spice became the first brand have the most viewed channel on YouTube. 


After partnering with NFL, more football stars including Greg Jennings, Ray Lewis and Wes Walker were featured in various ad campaigns for Old Spice. In 2012, the brand’s famous hit ‘Muscle Music’ had featured the former NFL player, Terry Crews. In 2013, Indian supermodel Milind Soman featured in a series of commercials titled ‘Mantastic Man’. In 2014, as a part of Smellcome to Manhood campaign, the ‘Momsong’ commercial became very popular.

In 2015, Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews featured ‘Make a Smelltiment’ commercials were released.  A new brand character was featured in two commercials in 2016 named the Legendary Man.


The Old Spice brand has come a long way since 1937 and has successfully established itself as one of the most popular brands in the market of grooming products. Their quality of the product has been consistently great which helped them grow very quicker in this extremely challenging market. Even after this much success, the brand has not stopped producing quality products and has surged forward with new items. With this positivity, they are getting closer and closer to be the best in the business and the day is not very far. 


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