7 Reasons The Old Spice Advert Is The Best Advertising Ever
Over 4 million views on YouTube as I write this blog post, so we’re already well on the way to having proof that the Old Spice advert ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ is the best advert ever, but there are a number of key reasons, other than YouTube views as to why this is the case.
“We’re not saying this body wash will make your man smell into a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it.”
Right from the words used in the description on YouTube the Old Spice advert seems intriguing.
The advert itself was created by two guys Craig Allen and Eric Kallman (who look about 17, but are actually in their early 30s) from an agency in Portland, Oregon in the fine USofA called Wieden & Kennedy, and was originally created to run through the 2010 Superbowl. According to the creatives themselves, it took three days to shoot.
Since that point, the awareness levels of the Old Spice advert have taken it viral and seen it grace almost every personal Facebook page in the Western World. This success is down to these contributing factors.
It’s one shot
That in itself puts it in the top 1% of great adverts but from start to finish of the advert, with the exception of the diamonds and the Old Spice bottle coming out of his hand, there’s no CGI. Even his transportation from boat to horse is all really and carried out by a trolley that moved the actor Isaiah Mustafa (a former wide receiver in the NFL) from his sitting position onto the animal, all whilst he continued the speech. Don’t believe it’s one shot? Check out the interview with Craig and Eric here - about 13 minutes in they reveal how it all worked.
It’s viral and it’s global
Sure the Old Spice advert got massive coverage during the 2010 Superbowl but whilst the NFL final receives hundreds of millions of eyeballs viewing the half-time adverts, sending something both viral and global needs more than just a spectacular sporting event to give it a push. How many other Superbowl adverts can you name from this year? Exactly. Social networking has been a vital tool in the spread of the Old Spice advert – detractors of this communication space must now realise that even if an advert isn’t conceived for this medium, it’s this medium that would expand the message to the masses.
Aside from the catchphrases, discussed below, the Old Spice advert is genuinely funny. And not toilet humour funny. Or slapstick funny. Or ironic funny. Or controversial funny. Just funny. No section of society is being ridiculed to provide entertainment for others and we didn’t need Kanye West jumping on stage. Good, clean, wholesome humour.
It’s packed full of non-cheesy catchphrases
‘Look at me’, ‘you’re on a boat’, ‘two tickets to that thing you like’, ‘the tickets are now DIAMONDS’, ‘I’m on a horse’. Even the title of the advert itself is a catchphrase. If you don’t believe me, go and type ‘I’m on a horse’ into Twitter or on your Facebook status and I guarantee you’ll get 100s of responses. And they’re intelligent catchphrases. We’re not sitting here like no-brained zombies shouting ‘wasssuuuuuup’ at each other. And whilst many other brands have delivered us great catchphrases – Mastercard, Frosties, Mazda – they’re not ones we’d say out loud to our friends. the Old Spice advert is.
It’s Tiger Woods
Well, it’s not. It’s Isaiah Mustafa (who even on his Twitter stream has his location as ‘on a horse’) but you know, I wonder if anyone thought that having someone apparently rich, powerful and black representing the brand might link them somehow to the fallen idol in a parody kind of way? Whether intentional or not, it certainly worked. You could almost see Tiger standing there in front of one of the ladies he’s allegedly had an affair with offering her a handful of diamonds in order to get her up to his hotel room.
It appeals to both Men and Woman
Men want to be him. Women want to be with him. And as the person that makes the purchase, the Old Spice advert has recognised that they need to appeal to that female market to make them lift their product off the shelf, whilst not alienating or offending any of their new or traditional male market. As a man we wish we had the sculpted body, the boat…even the horse. And women hold out the glimmer of hope that even if they can’t be married to someone like that, at least they can be married to someone who SMELLS like that.
The message WORKS
Quite rightly as ‘twit‘ says, the message isn’t lost in the creative. This is so important with any campaign and there are plenty of examples where the creative takes over and any sembelance of a message vanishes. But you know this is an Old Spice advert, you know what they’re trying to say to you and by the end of it, if you’re a man, you want to smell like him and if you’re a woman, you want your man to smell like him. Tick in the box for a purchase during next supermarket visit.
For Isaiah lets hope the rest of his life isn’t plagued with people shouting ‘where are you, Isaiah?’ at him as he steps out of that supermarket. For the Old Spice advert it should have some marketing executives sleeping very soundly at night. Until they have to think up the next one…