The Old Spice Guy: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Who is the Old Spice Guy?
He's Isaiah Mustafa, a former rookie wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks and NFL Europe.

Who came up with this ad?
Wieden+Kennedy, one of the world's largest independently-owned ad agencies. It was introduced at the 2010 Super Bowl.

How did they do it?
It took three days to shoot but the final print is one continuous take. Yeah, they actually built a shower set on a boat set and crane-lifted the guy onto a real horse.

Check out the 20 minute "Making of" video at the end of this post. The two guys who wrote the ad explain how it was done.

What else has W+K done?
This firm is a heavy hitter. They were the brains behind Nike's Just Do It and vintage Bo Knows campaigns. They also masterminded the inventive This is SportsCenter commercials for ESPN.

What's the lowdown on Old Spice?
The Shulton Company first introduced Old Spice in 1937 as a fragrance for women. Old Spice for Men didn't drop until the following year.

Proctor & Gamble bought Old Spice 20 years ago and over that time has done some makeover work on the brand.

What kind of changes did P&G bring to the party?
Part of the shift in positioning was to incorporate humor in the marketing of Old Spice.

Back in the 70's, Old Spice commercials were all about shore-leave.
A sailor would pull into port hook up with four different women then hurl the empty container of his magic love potion at an adoring voyeur.

By the 80's, Old Spice was trying to define its ideal customer.
Humor was starting to creep in, but the goal was to be somewhat amusing, not hilarious.

But lately, all hell has broken loose.
Old Spice, in our opinion, is responsible for some of the funniest, most clever commercials on the air.

The Bruce Campbell commercial is a classic.
Is there almost subliminal audio here which is exactly the opposite of what you'd expect in a commercial for men's fragrance?

"Ees it Right for Heem?"
Apparently, Old Spice Hair and Body Wash is right for everybody.
More quasi-subliminal messaging in the final frame.

Before "I'm on a horse" came "I am a horse."
Yeah, there's something subliminal going on here too, right?

A man of few words

The Making of the Old Spice I'm on a Horse commercial: