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Loading Ready Old Spice

By Shamus
on Saturday Jul 24, 2010
Filed under:


Okay, this one may or may not need some introduction, depending on how much you know about this particular meme. First, Old Spice made the famous Super Bowl Old Spice Body Wash Supercommercial of handsomeness and super being on a horse. It was good. It was also done with almost no special effects. Amazingly, the whole thing was just brought to life through the magic of very clever set-building.

Then they followed up with another one:

Link (YouTube)

And then they went crazy and had Old Spice guy answer questions posted to him in Twitter. And then Kathleen from Loading Ready Run did the twitter thing, and he responded:

Link (YouTube)


Women will often enjoy a smell that reminds them of their father. But a generation later, a woman will not be particularly interested in a guy that smells like her crusty old grandfather. Even if she likes the scent in a general sense, it’s a safe bet that it won’t work as a romantic catalyst.

So then the scent takes a generation off until it falls out of general widespread use, and then it can re-take market share by courting the young generation. In the 80’s, Old Spice seemed to have a reputation as a scent for the oldies, and (at least where I came from) Drakkar was the hip new fragrance for the young men. Now Old Spice is making the comeback as people are able to enjoy the scent. This is clever and entertaining marketing, which will go a long way towards making that happen.

And I’m always happy to pass along entertainment, even when it’s being used to sugar-coat a commercial message. I really wish more companies would try to win our recognition through talent instead of harassment and aggravation.

Comments (65)

  1. Raygereio says:

    Every time I see those old spice commercials and the twitter responses I feel like I have to pinch myself. A non-annoying commercial? That cannot be! It must be a sign of the impending apocalyps, or something.

  2. SKD says:

    It is truly awesome when an ad company manages to make something original that is entertaining instead of obnoxious. The real question is how long until it becomes boring and old.

  3. Will says:

    Those adverts are absolutely beautiful. This is how you make advertisements people; i actually enjoyed watching these. They’re clever and fun; everything a really memorable advert should be :D

  4. PurePareidolia says:

    I honestly have no idea how this happened. I 99.9% of the time hate commercials unless they’re for something I intend to buy. Then it’s about 66.6% of the time. But somehow, Old Spice has warped the fabric of space-time and delivered unto us a commercial that doesn’t just not suck, it’s actually really funny.

    Well done them.

    Monocle Smile!

  5. eri says:


  6. qrter says:

    The thing is, sales on Old Spice aren’t going up. So this whole thing might be good for brand recognition, as of yet it isn’t actually resulting in selling more.

    (I still think it smells awful!)

    • eri says:

      I use whatever’s cheapest at the store, so long as it doesn’t smell like junk!

      I think maybe these overpriced brand names would be more profitable if they didn’t spend so much advertising them.

  7. (LK) says:

    Old Spice, apply directly on a horse.

    Old Spice, apply directly on a horse.

    Old Spice, apply directly on a horse.

  8. Irridium says:

    hehe, he even acknowledged anonymous. In response they made him their king. The internet can be a funny thing sometimes.

    Also, I’m on a horse.

  9. Ell Jay says:

    I have to agree: I don’t mind marketing when it is clever and entertaining.

  10. Knight says:

    In australia we have this show called the Gruen Transfer. I think you would love it, its all about ads and how they work.
    Anyway, they said what made the Old Spice ad so great was that it wasn’t like anything else. It was an entirely new style and method of advertising, not derived from anything.

  11. rofltehcat says:

    Damn you, Shamus!

    Now I’m stuck watching Old Spice Man’s awesome video replies to his facebook and twitter messages!

    There goes another hour of my life :(

  12. Aufero says:

    This is the first set of commercials I’ve found entertaining in a decade. I still don’t want to buy any Old Spice, but at least I no longer associate the brand name with my grandfather.

  13. Yar Kramer says:

    Okay, let me bring my “insistence on explaining human behavior” stuff to bear.

    I think it’s a mixture of the originality (it really is different from other commercials out there), the frenetically-paced quirky randomness, and Isaiah Mustafa’s casual tone as he delivers ridiculous lines. It also doesn’t hurt that Isaiah Mustafa is one sexy man! ;)

  14. David says:

    Is it just me, or was anyone else hearing Isaiah’s voice in their head as they read these comments?

  15. Bit says:

    These commercials make me wish I were gay just so I could have a man who could smell like an old spice man.

  16. DaveMc says:

    The people I feel sorry for are the members of *every other ad agency in the world*, who will be gritting their teeth through meetings for the next couple of years, as clients say, “Yeah, we’d like something like that Old Spice thing. Something, whaddaya call it? Viral. Not exactly like that, but you know, funny and original and certain to be shown for free over and over. Can you do that?”

    Veins bulge as they think: “If we could do that, we would *already be doing it*!” But of course what they’ll have to *say* is: “Sure, no problem.”

    I find it oddly comforting to reflect that nobody, not even the Old Spice guys, can really predict what’s going to take off like this.

  17. GM says:

    okay were you at besheda forum or something because i just found this ad there.


  18. lazlo says:

    I find it very interesting that these commercials are fun and amusing in their own right, which is something that I feel should be encouraged, but moreover, this video in particular managed to be both cool in a non-annoying sort of way, and also to convey actual useful information that makes me want to purchase their product.

    (To add lots of tedious explanation here, because hey, that’s what I do, my wife does not like Old Spice because an old boyfriend wore it, and that direct nose-brain interface can be a pain at times. Since Old Spice is one of two brands of deodorant* that my store carries, that leaves me with one choice. Knowing that there are probably multiple Old Spice scents that don’t remind my wife of old boyfriends gives me hope of more choices.

    * – my local store carries many brands of antiperspirant, which also have a side-effect of deodorization. However, my father long ago had a discussion with me on some Alzheimer’s research which instilled in me a probably-irrational fear of absorbing too much aluminum. This leads to things like using cast iron and stainless steel cookware, which is made of win for unrelated reasons; preferring my sodas from a bottle, which is pretty good also; and eschewing antiperspirants in favor of deodorants, which is a mixed bag. The absolute best option is unscented deodorants, which are actually merely strong topical antibiotics. Those succeed in not only lowering the body’s malodorous qualities, but do so by drastically lowering the overall scent load. And it does this without the use of aluminum, so it’s a triple win. The only down side is that I have to trek out to a store that carries hunting supplies to get the stuff. But sometimes it’s worth it.)

    Of course, the thing that they don’t want you to think of with this video is that, since they have multiple varieties, the name Old Spice is actually a plural. And since we all know that the plural of the word “mouse” is “mice”, then it must follow that if you’re buying just one of their varieties you must want to smell like Old Spouse.

  19. Jo says:

    “Women will often enjoy a smell that reminds them of their father”

    Yes, but no. I once nearly left my boyfriend on the dance floor because he wore the same cologne as my father (believe it or not, it was Old Spice). Whenever I closed my eyes I was reminded of my dad, which is incredibly weird and awkward when trying to see a man romantically if you don’t have an Electra complex. Maybe Old Spice has gotten a resurgence from shaking their image as an old person scent, or maybe it’s finally become such an old person scent that now the young ladies are used to their Dads smelling of Drakkar and are more open to their young men smelling of Old Spice.

    And my boyfriend switched to Axe. Which actually smells really good, though it is almost physically painful for me to admit it. There’s an interesting advertising campaign – while it convinced a group of men that it would attract the ladies, it convinced a group of ladies to never be attracted to it. Bit divisive, there.

    • Susie says:

      Agreed, Axe’s ads really annoyed me … but I do like the smell, even if I don’t like to admit it.

    • asterismW says:

      And see, I love Old Spice precisely because it reminds me of my dad, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone else who wears it. Not even my dad wore it all that much; just on special occasions. And since I moved out almost 10 years ago (and I think he stopped wearing it), I hardly ever get to smell it. But whenever I do, I’m reminded of my dad and my childhood, and it makes me happy.

      So I have to disagree with you on the “incredibly wierd and awkward” part. I’d definitely be attracted, at least initially, to a guy who reminded me of the best man in the world.

    • Vegedus says:

      Of course, the women don’t have to like it for it to sell, so they’re probably not too concerned with that. As long as the men believes it.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Not really. Both the creators of the ad and the company are aware that women are often the ones who pick cologne/scents/etc. to their partners.

        • Will says:

          Yup, when marketing a product (any product, no exceptions) you always want to hit the widest possible demographic. Even if some of the people aren’t neccessarily your intended target demographic.

          Marketing only to one sex immediately cuts your demographic in half, which is not exactly desirable under any circumstances.

    • Klay F. says:

      The part about being attracted to guys that remind them of their fathers is completely dependent on the relationship each woman has with their father, obviously. My sister, for instance, left all of her previous boyfriends precisely BECAUSE they started reminding her of our father. She is attracted to guys that are pretty much the polar opposite of our dad.

      Additionally, dad who are abusive, or convicts, or alcoholic, etc. are not good people to smell like.

  20. X2-Eliah says:

    Wow, hadn’t seen this commercial before (non-English country of residence and all that), have to say, simply amazing! That’s what a commercial ought to be, not all that housewife+sponge+kids rubbish.

  21. Tomorrow says:

    I live in Australia, so we dont get Old Spice commercials, but this is absolutely brilliant advertising. Not only that, but the guy went and answered questions on YouTube, which gives the ad an all new meaning.

    The single take, the utter lack of CG, the brilliant comedy, the people who made these should get academy awards or something.

    Now, i must ride my jetski lion into the sunset. Silverfish Hand Catch!

  22. Squash says:

    Did anyone else notice a continuity error in the video of the TV host talking to the ad guys?

    At the beginning of the video, the clock behind the host shows 13:25. Later, at 17:42, it shows 13:21. Then at 18:42, it shows 13:27.

    Continuity error in a show about an ad with amazing continuity (where the host makes a bet that it’s not really continuity). That’s got to be some newly invented type of irony.

    • Syal says:

      The introduction was stated to be after the interview, as was the closing bit. The only continuity error is the fact they obviously filmed the closing scene before they showed the interview (or possibly while showing it).

  23. Nick C says:

    I use Old Spice and Geico because their commercials rock. Recently, I’ve also had the urge to try Dos Equis. I don’t drink beer often, but when I do, I want to try Dos Equis.

    • Klay F. says:

      Every time I see that Dos Equis commercial, I like to reply to myself, “He may be the most interesting man in the world, but he has a shitty taste in beer.”

      Then again, I am extremely opinionated on the subject of beer. So take that with a grain of salt.

  24. SatansBestBuddy says:

    How did he get from shorts to jeans?

    I call CGI, that is simply not possible without it.

    • Vendrin says:

      He’s got about 4 seconds, probably enough time to pull some on with help if they are waiting for him.

      • Klay F. says:

        They are probably being held there with wires just under the surface of the pool, so we can’t see from our angle. Then, when the wires lift him up for the swan dive, they basically just drop him directly onto them. I’ve seen acrobatics demonstrations where people backflip into a pair of jeans. And those are usually don’t without wires, so it is possible.

    • Will says:

      You’d be amazed what you can do without proper CGI.

  25. Zaghadka says:

    My response to all this “look at what they can do without CGI” is mostly “Yeah, but have you seen what they can do with CGI?” Case in point: 2012. Iron Man goes double for that one, because it was actually a good movie.

    It’s almost gotten to the point where the lighting models don’t give it away. When it’s full scene (and no live subjects), it’s indistinguishable. Forget about any associations you have made between live photography and “proof.” That ship has sailed, and now it’s on a horse, no matter how they pull it off.

  26. Nimas says:

    Living in Australia seems to mean that the majority of our ads are terrible, with the exception of the beer industry.

    There have been quite a few amusing ads produced over the years including one of my persoanl favourites this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGJiTpBBD18

  27. HeadHunter says:

    Didn’t watch the Super Bowl (the TV is for XBox and DVD), but I loved some of the commercials. The Old Spice commercial, the Snickers commercials, and the “milkaholic Lindsay” E*trade ads are memorable, clever and non annoying.

    Old Spice is really nailing it. They know how to make ads that are interesting, entertaining and memorable. One can only wonder how many takes were needed to shoot that one.

  28. Ern'st says:

    Damn Shamus, every time you mention women you show less understanding of them.

    • Shamus says:

      That is a cunning rebuttal, but most people just shorten it to “Nu-uh!”

      • Ern'st says:

        If I’m “rebutting” anything it’s not your Old Spice conjecture, but that you have any idea what women are. You’re saying that doesn’t have any substance, so here are a few examples (as if this wasn’t enough):

        – Your recent stolen pixels post and its spurious commentary on male and female fashions.
        – Once-upon-a-time asserting that “authentic” lesbians are butch and mannish.
        – Your failed female model, which, admittedly, you eventually fixed.
        – Your playthroughs of The Path, but the less said about that the better.

        I wouldn’t want to blame it on some tired “nerds don’t know women” myth. You’ve been married for more than a decade, so it’s more like willful ignorance.

        • Shamus says:

          You’re not interested in a discussion. You’re pouting because I said something you didn’t like. But instead of talking about that, you’re just making it personal.

          “Spurious commentary on male and female fashions.”

          You are a crazy person. Seriously. I can’t even begin to imagine the size of the chip on your shoulder or the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to take offense. If saying 80’s women’s fashions were silly is enough to set you off, then you really need to go. I’m not kidding. See these other people laughing? That’s my audience. I have no idea how to entertain an angry person like you, and it sounds like it would offer a poor return to try and do so.

          Good luck to you.

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