Thursday, December 29, 2005

Old spice : Death of an Icon?



Brand : Old Spice
Company : Menzes cosmetics
Agency : Percept

This brand which is originally owned by P&G is a sad story of an Icon killed by apathy. Old spice is an international brand launched in India in 1969.
The first Old Spice product was called Early American Old Spice for women . It was introduced in 1937. In 1938, Old Spice for men were launched. Old Spice was manufactured by Shulton Co owned by William Schultz. Schultz developed Old Spice along the Colonial theme. Hence the nautical theme was chosen and Sailing ship especially Colonial Sailing ship was used the trademark. The Original ships that were used was Grand Turk and Friendship.

In 1990 P&G purchased the Brand from Shulton. The old ship was replaced by Sail boat/ Yatch in 1992.

In India from 1937 to 1993, the Old Spice was manufactured and marketed by Menzes Cosmetics Goa. Then P&G took over the brand and in 2001 again the brand was given back to Menzes cosmetics. In between the brand was licensed to Marico Industries but later the agreement was terminated.

Old Spice was generic name for After shaves in India. The cool Cologne and Lime fragrance was a run away success and the trade mark of the ship was unique. I still remember in 1990's trying desperately to find out collectible like lockets/ keychains .

Old Spice was positioned as a masculine brand with the baseline " mark of a man'. The advertisement was catchy with international models and thrilling themes.

But then something happened. The brand was put in the back burner. There was no marketing activity about the brand. No ads, No product launches, slowly the brand faded out of memory. Since there is no activity, the growth of the brand stopped and death of an Icon happened.

Still there are no successful Aftershave brands in Indian Market that can command the status of Old Spice of yester years. Old Spice had the potential to be an Icon. The brand was well known, the quality was good and there was some thing special about Old Spice and the Sail ship.

Now since the brand is back with the company that has launched it, let us hope that the brand revives itself. The void is still there. Neither Axe nor Gillette has the legacy of Old Spice.