Old Spice has been selling men’s grooming products since 1937, but it’s perhaps best known for its 2010 ad, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”. Starring former football player Isaiah Mustafa, the whimsical, humorous ad was an immediate cultural sensation.
“Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me.” Fast-paced and direct, the ad was created by the Wieden + Kennedy creative agency and served to both double sales and “cement the brand in pop culture.” According to Creative Review, the ad:
“laid the foundations for follow-up spots and online stunts, including live videos responding to Twitter posts, prank websites scorning questionable consumer behaviour, and the later introduction of Terry Crews’ character.”
The campaign also laid the groundwork for Old Spice’s humorous, slightly quirky new brand personality — which has been expertly developed over the years. In 2019, the brand launched a new campaign which is still running in 2022, called “Men Have Skin Too”.
As the face of the campaign, actress Gabrielle Dennis shines, and its latest release, called “Brunch”, was once again created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland. The ad, which also stars comedian Deon Cole and actress La La Anthony, opens with Cole in a bathrobe on his way to confront his brunching wife, played by Dennis.
Slamming the empty Old Spice GentleMan’s Blend Body Wash with Lavender and Mint (a mouthful, we know) on the table, he says “Admit it, you used my Old Spice body wash.” — to which Dennis replies “Of course, I’m not letting hotel soap near my skin.”
“Now I’m going to be ashy”, retorts a defeated Cole, snatching his empty bottle back from Savannah and her moisturized hands and marching back upstairs.
Funny, authentic, and creative, this spot adds another gold star to Old Spice’s “Men Have Skin Too” campaign. And it’s not just the ad’s humor and wit that shine — it’s the entire campaign’s dedication to diversity. In an article for AdAge, actress La La Anthony shared:
“For as long as I can remember, Old Spice body washes and deodorants have been a staple for the men in my family. Working with companies and brands that put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of all that they do is so important to me."
Old Spice clearly understands the importance of diversity and inclusion. In June, the brand released a “Men Have Skin Too” spot called “Finer Things”, starring actor Ross Butler.
In the ad, Butler’s mother asks his love interest “How do I know you’ll be good enough for my son? You see, he enjoys the finer things in life.” — referencing the Old Spice body wash in question. This leads to the love interest noticing Butler’s mother’s smooth, lavender-scented skin — and they both realize they’ve been using his body wash.
Shortly after, Butler emerges from the bathroom to ask who’s been using his Old Spice body wash only to have the two women provide different answers. Once again humorous and light-hearted, the spot was written and directed by Creative Director Clayton Tony Au in partnership with Plan C, an Asian American marketing and communications agency.
Again, it’s clear that Old Spice knows what’s important when it comes to getting diversity and inclusion right — and that’s including authentic voices from the communities you’re looking to represent and connect with. The “Finer Things” ad not only stars Asian-American actors but was created by an Asian-American director and agency.
By spotlighting authentic voices, as the brand does in its other “Men Have Skin Too” ads, it’s managed to build a campaign that approaches diversity and inclusion with sensitivity and finesse.
Thankfully, the “Men Have Skin Too” campaign is set to continue into 2023, and an additional spot entitled “Family Reunion” will feature Anthony and Dennis “borrowing” poor Cole’s Old Spice yet again. We, for one, are looking forward to this spot — and all the others to come.
Main Image Credit: Old Spice Ad “Brunch”