“Hello Ladies,” says the oh-so-manly Old Spice guy. “Does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me. Yes.”
What a great combo. The Old Spice guy is both a spoof and at the same time an extremely cool and compelling reason to splash your face with an after shave lotion that chances are your grand daddy used to woo your grandma.
The Old Spice guy is Isaiah Mustafa, a retired football star. He clearly hopes the spots will leverage him into a new acting career. I think he has a shot. I also think Proctor & Gamble has a great shot of resurrecting a 72-year-old aftershave.
This is all well and good, but from my editorial perspective, the importance of the Old Spice guy is that he is the most successful fusion of traditional advertising with social media to date.
The 30-second spot ran for the first time July 7 on national TV. I don’t know how many people saw it there, but the spot has been viewed 5.5 million times on YouTube. Mustafa has made a whole batch of Your Tube spots that have been view an addition 6 million times. Many of the spots are in response to comments left to him on his Facebook account or Twitter where he has about 45,000 followers.
He’s fast and funny on Twitter. He flirts without ever going over the line. He feels like a guy’s guy. It seems to be just Mustafa, without admen or marketer mucking up what is his fabulous bantering ability.
This is brilliant integrated marketing. It pulls elements of the traditional Old Spice ads. But where the guy used to ride off on a white horse, now it’s a motorcycle. The spot ends with the familiar whistle that Spice ads have had for years.
It has been a very long time since I have viewed any ads that are truly creative, and that brings me to what I fear the most about the Old Spice guy.
Shortly after P&G announces that Old Spice sales have boomed, little creative teams are going to be summoned into rooms and shown this ad.
“I want something like this for our client, and I want it by Tuesday,” these teams will be told. And thus this true original I fear is going to be followed by an endless parade of imitators.
What I would prefer seeing is the Old Spice guy serve as a new high bar for integrated advertising integration. Let’s see someone outdo what has been done with this most memorable campaign.