By: Wendy Lin
With 71 years of history, Old Spice is a brand of deodorant and body fragrance for men. Its campaign had been carried out by Wieden + Kennedy (Portland branch), one of the top advertising agencies, branding the product with the slogan of “Smell like a Man, Man.” Shot in three days, this commercial was uploaded to Youtube in February of 2010, accumulating 30,000 views that snowballed into 250,000. As of June 2012, the video has amassed over 40 million views.
In the commercial, the main actor, Isaiah Mustafa, presents himself as a smug stud who has the toned and muscular body that all women would lust for. As opposed to calling out to the men who would actually use the product, he calls out to the girlfriends/wives of these men. Why? Perhaps it hints at the power of the sexes. Or perhaps he confidently plays the psychological game with the men, taunting them with his ability to appeal to the female masses and that if they can’t look like him, maybe, just maybe, all men should at least smell like him. At least one body sense should suffice, right?
What’s even more interesting is the usage of the tactic of interruption. David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, had explained the technique of interruption used in the TV industry as a way to “interrupt people so that they pay attention to a one-way message.” The main actor in the commercial brilliantly carries this out technique through commanding and continuous statements. “Look at your men” offers that split-second for the audience to take their eyes off of him, but the audience is then quickly redirected back to him with the firm command, “Now back to me.” The message is clear: “Focus on ME.”
Did you anticipate that this guy in shower would end up on a white horse as prince charming? I certainly didn’t. The unpredictable elements such as the scene switch to the ocean or the oysters that became diamonds all act to hook the audience to see what would happen next.
What do you guys think? Did this commercial have your complete attention for the 32 seconds it lasted? Or were you already off doing something else in the first 5 seconds? Is interruption the best method to use for one-way messages, or should marketers be moving away from one-way messages altogether?