Sadly, He Isn’t Me

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Old Spice’s Commercial “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” featuring NFL hunk and actor Isaiah Mustafa, was first a TV commercial, then a viral YouTube campaign. This was the first in a series of commercials known as “Smell Like a Man, Man.” It was originally promoting Old Spice’s Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, but expanded to include other products as well. It premiered Superbowl Sunday–February 7, 2010–on NBC. It was also played on shows like Lost, American Idol, the Olympics–anywhere men and women might be watching together.

Facets of Effect Model


The Facet of Effect that drives this commercial is undoubtedly the Emotional or Affective Facet: Feel. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like elicits feels and wants, establishes the desire both to look like the model and to have the riches that he does.

  • Wants-Women want to have their men smell (okay, look) like the rather dreamy guy. The men want to smell good. It’s also an egotistical issue for guys to think if they smell good, they can have all of this. 
  • Feelings-“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” creates definite feelings of laugher and love.

New producers at Old Spice felt they needed a new look in their products and so–when all else fails–they tried sex appeal. Although they could be accused of using Mustafa as a sex object, their commercials were tasteful, unlike their competitor, Axe’s risque ones. Old Spice new that women–who are the prime hygiene purchasers–would be more apt to go buy a product that has clean humor, rather than buying products displayed in crude commercials.

In addition to playing off sex appeal, it also evokes a laugh–a combination of the dreamy guy, absurdity of the implications, comical lines, the last one being the best: “I’m on a horse.”


Success could be determined, obviously, by the sales of Old Spice after the commercial was launched. It was definitely a success. Old Spice has become a stronger brand, growing monthly, and is currently the number one brand of men’s body wash and deodorant in both sales and growth. Public interest has skyrocketed, with Old Spice having a 300% increase of traffic on their website, a 800% increase in facebook fans, 2700% increase in Twitter followers, and it has the #1 viewed sponsored YouTube channel. It was the recipient of the 2010 Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix and and Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Commercial.



The main demographic factor in this commercial is gender. This advertisement is focused toward women, although it is a man’s product. Old Spice has previously sold their products by saying it’s a “manly man” product, appealing to men. However, although this advertisement still reflects the manly man epitome, advertisers realize that women buy most of the hygiene products. Thus, the advertisement focuses on what the woman could have–“a guy who smells like me”–if she bought her husband the product.

The commercial could be relevant to any adult, but I believe the main target audience would be the Me Generation and Generation Y–people from their 20s-40s. Younger women are more apt to fall for Mustafa, while younger men would be the ones interested in buying grooming products.


I believe the people who fit into this commercial would be under the “I Am Driven” category. They believe they can use Old Spice to succeed–at least in the appearance world–and they want to show the world they’re on top of the game (possessing a horse, boat, diamonds, and tickets?). Lifestyles closest to this would be yuppies, I believe. The young professionals who place a great deal of importance on style–and how to win the lady. Consequently, the VALS label most likely to be used would be “Achievers.” They want to be noticed by their peers for their dapper appearance, not to mention that the commercial implies that they will be successful monetarily as well.


This commercial definitely plays off the Feel-Think-Do path, creating a want. It develops appeal for men to smell like a man, and for women to have a man that smells like Mustafa.  Since the brand’s success skyrocketed after the initial airing, I would say this points to the majority of consumers being early adopters.


Old Spice’s Campaign was a paradigm in the advertising world. Old Spice invited consumers to submit questions to the Old Spice guy via social media like Twitter and Facebook. More than 2,000 people sent questions in, and Old Spice made 186 video responses to answer some of the questions. It was a way to get more consumer involvement, as well as sparking another viral hit. The response videos have garnered more views than President Obama’s 2008 Acceptance Speech.

My Opinion 

I do believe this commercial was effective. Not only because it accomplished a feat by making a commercial attracting both men and women to buy male products, but also because they originated a commercial that was humorous, but also could garner respect for the product. It revolutionized the company image from a player image to a good guy image.


Just for amusement: OC’s version



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