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Old Spice, The Spice of Life

Old Spice’s legacy dates back to the early 1940’s when American soldiers adopted the fragrance as part of their army kit, and wherever U.S. soldiers went, their ‘scent of manliness’ became part of their ‘clean-cut’ public persona, that young women found particularly appealing.

One London columnist jokingly remarked about the American G.I.’s in Britain during WWII, that the Germans would smell them long before they see them.

Old Spice’s fame spread to become a major global brand for several decades but eventually became synonymous with ‘my grandfather’s scent’ and lost ground to ‘sexier’, ‘cooler’ brands that appealed to younger generations of consumers.

One famous Old Spice story is about a grandmother telling her grand children that if their grandfather hadn’t worn it, they wouldn’t be here.

Portland, Oregon, USA, Advertising Agency Wieden+ Kennedy’s successful revival of Old Spice is a remarkable story of Advertising Communication effectiveness in leveraging the brand’s ‘manliness’ heritage to renewed heights of motivational public consciousness.

1. Old Spice, Unstoppable Henry

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

Director of Production: Matt Hunnicutt, W+K Portland, USA

Animation Studio: Red Knuckles, London, UK

Filmed in Los Angeles, starring National Football League’s Tennessee Titan’s Derrick Henry, and featuring Los Angeles Rams’ Daniel Bituli, the Old Spice Sweat Defense commercial is humorously surreal, and highly entertaining.

2. Old Spice, Next Episode

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

Directed by filmmaker Steve Rodgers, the ‘Next Episode’ scenario deals with “manterventions’ by concerned friends to save their good buddies from surrendering to the devastating pressures of modern life, by helping them to not loose their ‘swagger’.

Emotively insightful, with a very humorous script, Steve Rodgers’ skillful direction elicits a superb performance from his cast that is very rewarding to view.

3. Old Spice, Office Visit

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon. USA

For the tenth anniversary of ‘Hello Ladies’, the commercial that introduced National Football League player, Isaiah Amir Mustafa as, the now famous, ‘Old Spice Man, he reprises his signature role of tongue-in-cheek bravado, in Old Spice’s new, Ultra Smooth line, of antiperspirant deodorant and body wash offerings.

Directed by filmmaking duo Matias & Mathias (Matias Rygh and Mathias Eriksen), Isaiah teams up with American actor Keith Powers in a ‘wacky’ father, and ‘cool’ son scenario, that is humorously surreal and very watchable.

4. Old Spice, Whale

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

French born actor and writer, Axel Kiener, is the star of Old Spice’s epic #smellegendary campaign, directed by filmmaker Steve Rogers of Biscuit Filmworks and Revolver Films.

The Cannes, Clio, and One Club award-winning ‘Whale’ commercial, for Old Spice’s ‘Lasting Legend’ range of sweat defense products, was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.

True to Old Spice’s brand persona, the scenario is another surreal dramatisation of manliness that is a delight to watch.

5. Old Spice, Rocket Car

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

The Cannes Gold Lion, and Grand Clio winning commercial for Old Spice’s ‘Legendary Protection’ campaign, expertly directed by Steve Rogers, is a cleverly written and entertaining parody of a macho endeavour of breaking the land-speed record staring ‘Legendary Hero’ actor Axel Kiener.

6. Old Spice, Jungle Hero

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

For the introduction of Old Spice’s ‘Hydro Wash’, ‘Legendary Hero’ actor Axel Kiener, as an intrepid, wildlife photojournalist, encounters a humorous ‘no-sweat’, bonding confrontation with a Gorilla.

Superbly directed by filmmaker Steven Rodgers, and filmed in South Africa, the expertly crafted commercial makes for very entertaining viewing.

7. Old Spice, Momsong

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

Directed by Steve Ayson, the surreal ‘Momsong’ commercial for Old Spice’s Re-Fresh Body Spray commercial, is part of their ‘Smellcome to Manhood’ integrated campaign that won a Cannes Gold Lion for Creative Effectiveness.

The hyperbolic depictions of Moms finding it emotionally hard to let go of their ‘boys’ was aired during an American Football Conference (AFC) Wild Card Game between San Diego and Cincinnati.

The commercial rapidly went viral, and motivated more than a million views on YouTube in just under three days.

However, the film was not to everyone’s liking. While some described the story to be “hilarious” and a “nightmare masterpiece”, other viewers, probably taking the scenario a little too literally, thought the commercial was “creepy” and “stereotypically demeaning of Moms”.

8. Old Spice, Hello Ladies

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

In this parody of ‘manliness’, the hugely popular launch of ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign, features American actor and former National Football League player, ‘Old Spice Man’, Isaiah Amir Mustafa.

Directed by filmmaker Tom Kuntz, ‘The Hello Ladies’ commercial won a Cannes Grand Prix for film, a Cannes Gold Lion for Creative Effectiveness, and an Outstanding Primetime Commercial Emmy Award.

The film’s last online count stood at 105 million global views, making it the most popular viral campaign in recent history.

9. Old Spice, Questions

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

Old Spice’s campaign follow-up ‘Questions’ commercial, also directed by filmmaker Tom Kuntz, is equally surreal, humorous, and entertaining to view.