The man your man could smell like is doing way more than smelling fresh

Look down. Back up.  Where are you? Staring right into the eyes of Old Spice’s new commercial icon, Isaiah Mustafa.  With his chiseled features and deep commanding voice, audiences across the country cannot help but crack a smile at his ability to turn an oversized oyster shell into diamonds and immediately following ride a horse…backwards.  Old Spice’s newest TV ad hasn’t been on the air long, but is already receiving press from all the major players for its innovative flair and magical celebrity.

Mustafa’s career began not on the set but the gridiron.  As a standout receiver at Arizona State University, Isaiah caught passes from NFL quarterback and longtime friend Jake Plummer.  Upon graduation, Mustafa began a short lived career in pro football playing receiver for the Seattle Seahawks and spending some time in NFL Europe.  Following his football playing days, Mustafa decided to pursue a life in acting taking on several minor roles in shows including “Ugly Betty”, “Days-of-our-Lives”, and “Castle”.

He would have never guessed that his biggest break would come from filming a commercial for men’s body wash.  When on the set the day before filming his clip for Old Spice, Mustafa decided to call his former college buddy Jake Plummer to go through a trial run of the script.  Jake didn’t answer so Isaiah left him a recording of his part, using a smug and comical tone that wasn’t in the original plans.  After leaving the message, Mustafa decided he liked his tongue-in-cheek approach better than what was scripted, and went with it during filming.  Turns out America did two as the Youtube video of the commercial is raking in millions of hits from men and women alike.

It appears that Mustafa may have been just what Old Spice needed to give their brand the extra boost in a time when advertisements for men’s bath products cloud the television screen.  Old Spice took an interesting approach in not only marketing to the male demographic, but also the female population that is responsible for purchasing these products for their men.  A bit of a younger look and feel is also in the mix when compared to traditional Old Spice advertising.  “Look at your man”, Mustafa says in the commercial. “Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. But if he stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.”  Some clever copy and a bit of a shot taken at other brands of body wash (mainly Dove’s newest Men+Care product line) looks like it may do the trick in rejuvenating the Old Spice label.

I was even engaged by the commercial, of which advertises a product I have never cared for.  Old Spice reminds me of my dad, or even worse, my dad’s dad.  The scent of Old Spice always hit me in the face and resonates imagery of trying not to gag while walking through the perfume isle at the mall.  So in an effort not to smell 50 years older and be detected by my scent from miles away, I chose to bathe with other products from a young age.  First impressions are quite hard to break, but I’ll be the first to admit that this commercial has made me reconsider.  Sure the classic Old Spice aroma may still be relatively the same (one which I still dislike), but I would be willing to make some sacrifices if it means I can get blasted pecs and be able to wear a sweater around my neck with no shirt underneath.

If anything Old Spice and Mustafa are getting their names out their in an effort to come out on top in the battle for a spot in every mans shower.  These commercials will probably open up bigger and better roles for Isaiah, and ultimately win some new customers for Old Spice.  Isaiah is already scheduled to appear on Oprah as well as the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  All-in-all where I may not be switching from my scentless soap anytime soon, I did get some good laughs and am looking forward to seeing what Old Spice has to offer next.  Touche, Old Spice.

Watch the commercial here…


04. March 2010 by Alex Trevisan
Categories: Advertising, Commercials | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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