About a month ago Old Spice released a commercial that had the internet as well as women across the United States, left in a sense of craziness. By now almost everyone has seen the infamous Old Spice commercial most notably known as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” The commercial opens with ex-football player Isaiah Mustafa just stepping out of the shower and addressing his audience, “Hello ladies.” He then proceeds to say, “Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. But if he stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.”
Over the course of the short thirty second ad he finds himself on a boat holding a bottle of Old Spice, which turns into an oyster shell with, “Tickets to that thing you like,” which then turns into a handful of diamonds and finally back to the Old Spice bottle. The commercial couldn’t have ended any better either; with Isaiah sitting on a horse proclaiming, “I’m on a horse.” I chose this particular commercial because not only is it absolutely hilarious but it’s absolutely effective any many ways, some of which will be examined over the course of this paper.
So it’s obvious that the intended audience for this commercial is women, which means that Old Spice is trying to sell a man’s product by targeting it to women. That sounds completely backwards right? Why target an audience that won’t even be using the product? Wrong, Old Spice’s way of marketing for this commercial is brilliant! Many traditional body wash commercials try to persuade the male audience how much their product will attract and please women; not this time. Old Spice flipped the script and decided to do things a little differently. Target the female audience who has to actually deal with their man’s s foul odor. Not only that but targeting the audience who in almost all cases will be the ones most likely to buy the product.
You don’t usually find a man out shopping for that “ideal” body wash, all he needs is something that smells good and comes in a bottle. On the other hand if a woman is out shopping she might come across that bottle of Old Spice, and remember sitting on the couch the previous Sunday watching the new Old Spice commercial. All I’m saying is that it’s safe to say that women are inclined to be in that shopping environment more than men, concluding that women tend to buy a lot of the products in a shared household. So now Old Spice has women and men both out there buying their body wash compared to conventional body washes products who only target a male audience.
Another effective concept in this commercial is how Old Spice actually markets the body wash. They use a suave ex-professional athlete with six-abs abs, made to look like the alpha male of males and the secret fantasy of all women. This works perfectly because men can look at Isaiah and wish to have that chiseled body and women can see him and wish their man had that chiseled body, so the ad is appealing to both sexes in one way or another. The commercial proceeds to depict Isaiah as some type of millionaire, showing him on a boat, with a handful of diamonds, and finally riding a horse on the beach all while keeping the sweater around his neck unwrinkled and untarnished.
Again this “millionaire” image appeals to both sexes and does so effectively because everyone wants to live that lavish lifestyle, with a yacht and horse at the snap of their fingers. Old Spice isn’t just saying that their body wash will make you smell better, they are implying that lavish, high-class millionaires use it, so why shouldn’t you. This use of imaging is effective because any type of person can relate to or envy the character in the commercial. Whether he is being thought of as that fantasy millionaire every guy wishes he was or that perfect boyfriend every girl wishes they had, the commercial surely sparks some emotion in the viewer regardless of their sex.
One final key idea that proves this commercial to be effective is the fact that Old Spice never claims that by using their product one will magically be just like the character in the commercial. All they state is that, “If he stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.”