"Hello ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back at me."
Old Spice hit advertising pay dirt with their new commercial featuring former NFL player Isaiha Mustafa in which he portrays the stereotypical manly man. Usually a commercial this good would have premiered during the Super Bowl or some major event, but when it appeared on American Idol it became a bigger deal than the show itself. The launch of the manliest man campaign created the kind of buzz marketers dream about.
Old Spice has badly needed to revamp their image for years. For many people Old Spice is nothing more than that white bottle with the ship on it sitting in dad - or grandad's - medicine cabinet. Old Spice is a nice scent and there are a fair portion of women that like the fragrance that reminds them of dad, but for young men Old Spice has never held the allure of name brands like Drakkar, Armani, Gucci, or any of the celebrity scents on the market. The harsh reality is that for most young men Old Spice is "too dad" and they don't want to be dad.
By placing the hard bodied and shirtless Mustafa in their ad, Old Spice broke with tradition and went directly for the young male demographic. Rather than trying to convince them to buy Old Spice on their own however they took an ingenious route and instead went after the women that love those men. Mustafa constantly reminds the ladies that if their man would stop using girly body washes and start using Old Spice they could at least smell as manly as him - not that they would ever actually measure up though.
"Look at him, now look at me" Mustafa constantly commands the ladies in a booming yet oddly sexy voice that has a humorous quality. Mustafa demonstrates that with Old Spice an oyster materializes in his hand containing two tickets to "that thing you love" and then just as quickly changes into an overflowing handful of diamonds. What lady doesn't want two tickets to that thing she loves and an overflowing handful of diamonds? Sure it's not really going to happen, nor is he going to mysteriously go from the deck of a luxury yacht to sitting atop a horse in the blink of an eye, but this is TV and it works. It plants the seed that Old Spice can make it all happen.
Ad campaigns like this don't grow on tress, and for a part-time actor like Mustafa this could make him a franchise.Tyler Perry has already signed him for one upcoming film for instance. It is not unreasonable to assume that right now there are women out at the store buying Old Spice for their man. Sure they won't be as manly as the manliest man, but with Old Spice at least they can smell him.
That is genius in marketing. It works for kids when they use mom to get to dad or vise versa, and Old Spice is banking this will work and revitalize their brand for years to come with a new generation of old Spice men. It does make you feel a little for the Old Spice sailor of the last 50 years though.