Monday, August 9, 2010

Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Will Smith...these used to be the names mentioned when the topic of "The Perfect Man" was discussed. If you haven't heard, that debate is now over. What is the name of the reigning "Perfect Man"? Well, not many people actually know his name (it's Isaiah Mustafa), but mention the title of "Old Spice Guy" and people probably know who you are talking about. Mention "that guy in the Old Spice ads wearing nothing more than a bath towel," and they'll definitely know.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like is a television advertising campaign created by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy for Old Spice to market their brand of shower gel. The original ad features actor Isaiah Mustafa reciting a quick monologue about how "anything is possible" if a man uses Old Spice. Mustafa is filmed during a single uninterrupted take that transitions, with minimal CGI, from a bathroom to a sailboat to Mustafa riding a horse.

This campaign has garnered a lot of attention, making Old Spice Guy become part of the daily lingua franca in U.S. and its model, Isaiah, an instant celebrity. I felt compelled to mention this in my blog. The commercial was a hit on video sharing websites, such as YouTube, where it has already received more than 17 million. In June 2010 it won the Grand Prix for film at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and in July 2010 the ad was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.

So, I guess the campaign is a big success. Isaiah himself even managed to get cast in  in the ensemble comedy Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. As seen in the commercials, it seems like Old Spice Guy can really do, well, pretty much everything (and they imply that a man who uses the product could do pretty much everything, too).

On July 13, this guy performed perhaps his most amazing feat to date: he got a woman to agree to marry a mere mortal man. That mortal, Johannes S. Beals, now known to the world as "Jsbeals," bowed down to the greatness of the deodorant pitchman -- via Twitter -- and asked Mustafa to propose to his girlfriend on his behalf. Of course, the irresistible charm of Old Spice Guy worked. How could a line like, "your love has blossomed from a seed into a fully grown love plant and now it's time to fertilize that plant," delivered by a rippling-muscled hunk holding a ring and surrounded by candles, not? Yep, the girlfriend in question, Angela A. Hutt-Chamberlin, said yes. 

The ad campaign -- which relies heavily on social media to complement the commercials -- has turned Mustafa into a media behemoth in his own right. He even got his own Youtube channel. You can check the rest of the commercials there and here's the link:

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