Old Spice - Advertisements


This is a small sample of some of the more memorable Old Spice advertisements from over the years. From top to bottom, the advertisements are arranged from oldest to most recent. This helps demonstrate how advertising, not just for Old Spice but advertising in general, has evolved over the last 50 years. Click the images to launch the video.

The Classic Collection

This classic advertisement is from 1960.
All Classic Video. "Old Spice Aftershave Lotion (1960s) - Classic TV Commercial." YouTube, 24 June 2012. Web. 30 March 2014.
This classic advertisement is from 1972.
VintageC OmPlus. "70s Old Spice II Vintage 1972 Commercial." YouTube, 2 July 2013. Web. 30 March 2014.

These Old Spice advertisements are from 1960 (left) and 1972 (right) and they are quite different from each other in the message and image they sell.

The advertisement from 1960 is very sexist, and Old Spice capitalizes on the use of this sex appeal (pathos) to try to sell their product. A sleek, cool looking man dressed in a nice suit, puffing on a cigarette, (something nobody would ever dare show in a TV commercial today), and sipping his alcoholic beverage gets a reminiscent look on his face when asked why he wears Old Spice. He then begins rattling off names of all the women that he has slept with crossed paths with, as the commercial turns its focus to all of these different, beautiful women. From the variety of women shown, they might as well say, "There's no woman you can't land when you're wearing Old Spice." The spokesman even has to interrupt him as it seems like his list will never end.

The advertisement from 1972 differs greatly from the 1960 ad. Rather than using sex appeal to sell the product, they use pathos in another way - to invoke a sense of adventure and mystery in men. The commercial begins with a ship sailing the ocean. When the ship makes its way to land, a sailor hops off with his knapsack full of the wares from his travels. He walks around a bit, tossing people bottles of Old Spice aftershave, as if it is some exotic product from a faraway land that only he could have gotten to. At the end, Old Spice sneak in a promotion for their new (in 1972) product, Old Spice shave cream, which is a good example of logos - by 1972, Old Spice aftershave had been around for 35 years, and the men who use their product regularly are very likely to switch to Old Spice shave cream based on their satisfaction with the aftershave. By sneaking in the shaving cream product in the last three seconds, they kill two birds with one stone.

The 1980s Collection

This classic advertisement is from 1980.
Robatsea2009. "Old Spice Christmas 1980 TV Commercial." YouTube, 23 Dec. 2010. Web. 30 March 2014.
This classic advertisement is from 1983.
OofusTwilip. "1983 Commercial - Old Spice - Not Meant For All Men." YouTube, 19 Jan. 2008. Web. 30 March 2014.

These two advertisements are from 1980 (left) and 1983 (right). They are quite different in their presentations, but both serve up a similar message and appeal to pathos.

After watching these two commercials, it seems that Old Spice's theme in the early 1980s was focused on masculinity. There are still traces of sex appeal, as both of the advertisements show a pretty woman on the arm of the man wearing Old Spice, but unlike the advertisement from 1960, it is not the primary selling point. Instead they switch focus to how Old Spice chooses the man, provided they are manly enough to wear it. Of course Old Spice also claims that wearing it will please the ladies, too - not to completely eliminate the use of sex appeal.

The Isaiah Mustafa Collection

Isaiah Mustafa kicks off the new age of Old Spice.
Old Spice. "Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." YouTube, 4 Feb. 2010. Web. 30 March 2014.
Isaiah Mustafa continues to convince the ladies.
Old Spice. "Old Spice | Questions." YouTube, 29 June 2010. Web. 30 March 2014.

Ah, finally. The Isaiah Mustafa era. The advertisement on the left was the first of the "Man your man could smell like" campaign, the revolutionary campaign that really rebranded Old Spice. The advertisement on the right was a follow-up from the same era and campaign, starring Isaiah Mustafa.

This is what really changed it all for Old Spice. In 2010, Old Spice introduced their new body wash. But how could Old Spice sell men something that they may view as a feminine product? Another obstacle - since most women do the shopping, (sorry for the stereotype, ladies) Old Spice had to convince the ladies as well. With the NFL football player turned actor, Isaiah Mustafa, they created a series of commercials that not only specifically addressed the ladies, but talked about what makes men manly. These advertisements were so successful, they garnered record amounts of YouTube views in days. To follow up with the success of the ads, Old Spice (advertised by Wieden + Kennedy) teamed back up with Mustafa encouraging fans to ask Mustafa questions via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Over the next two days, Mustafa recorded 180 response videos that were constantly airing on YouTube. The crowd response was unprecedented, and Old Spice's social media grew enormously during this time.

This demonstrates the power of social media in advertising. We are now in an age where consumers, for the first time, have an opportunity to communicate with companies in real-time. In 2010, Old Spice was a pioneer in this new interactivity between the two sides. As a result, their sales exploded, and they were reinvented from "your grandfather's aftershave" to young and hip.

The Terry Crews Collection

Watch Terry lose his mind.
Old Spice. "Old Spice | Blown Mind." YouTube, 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 30 March 2014.
Watch Terry bust into someone else's commercial.
Fcbahamutzero. "Old Spice Body Spray Bounce Commercial." YouTube, 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 30 March 2014.

These advertisements are out of the Terry Crews era of Old Spice advertising, dubbed "Old Spice is power". Personally, I think these are some of the funniest advertisements ever created. On the left, Terry Crews loses his mind. Literally. On the right, Terry Crews shows how Old Spice is too powerful to stay in its own commercial.

Crews' advertisements are more than him flaunting around in red underwear and screaming his lungs out, telling the viewer how powerful Old Spice is. In-your-face, loud, comical, ridiculous, and original, these advertisements are a perfect example of what a company must do to actually capture people's attention these days. Word of mouth has always been a strong method of advertising, and with the technology available today, word of mouth has taken an entirely new meaning. Between creating amusement in advertisements and the popularity of YouTube, people will do a lot of the work for a company - sharing links, "liking" it on Facebook, and interacting on Twitter are all key things companies rely on to push their product, and over the last few years, Old Spice has been mastering this technique.

The Mom Collection

Creepy moms stalk their boys.
FunnyAds. "Old Spice TV Ad - Mom Song Extended." YouTube, 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 March 2014.
Creepy mom tags along for bowling.
FunnyAds. "Old Spice TV Ad 2014 - Bowl." YouTube, 3 Jan 2014. Web. 30 March 2014.

Here we have "The Mom Collection". Creepy helicopter moms stalk their boys and mope over having lost them to the beautiful girls that just cannot seem to resist them thanks to the power of the Old Spice scent. On the left is the full version of the "Mom Song" (which is quite catchy), the advertisement that kicked off this campaign. On the right is a solo which serves as a follow-up to the popularity of the original "Mom Song".

Once again, Old Spice kicks off another hilarious advertising campaign that managed to go viral overnight. The reactions seemed to be mixed over these videos (I suppose some mothers could take offense to this), but regardless, Old Spice got people talking - and that was the point. The more people talking about Old Spice, the more it gets into their heads, and before they know it, they are loading it up in their shopping cart. Like other Old Spice ads from the 2000s, it is brimming with humor and ridiculousness - the magic recipe to get people grinning and buying.

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