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Isaiah Mustafa Goes Global for the 2022 AICP Awards


Actor and Old Spice spokesman delivers a pitch to enter the awards in a multilingual short film from Arts & Sciences and Erich & Kallman

Isaiah Mustafa Goes Global for the 2022 AICP Awards

Who knew the Man Your Man Could Smell Like was so fluent in so many tongues? That’s the case with actor and athlete Isaiah Mustafa (star of a series of award-winning Old Spice campaigns), who shows off his linguistic talents in a comedic film promoting entries in the 2022 AICP Awards. Created by the San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman, produced by Arts & Sciences and directed by Adam Brodie.

The AICP Awards suite includes: The AICP Post Awards, The AICP Show: The Art and Technique of the Commercial, and the AICP Next Awards, chaired this year respectively by: Yvette Cobarrubias, Partner/Managing Director of Cosmo Street; Mal Ward, Managing Director of Arts & Sciences; and Scott Donaton, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing for Hulu.

Identified on screen as an ‘Advertising Icon,’ Isaiah opens the piece by talking about how winners at the AICP Awards will join the film archives of The Museum of Modern Art, quickly adding, “I’m in there six times.” It then skews into new territory, both in terms of the script and the target audience, as Isaiah points out he’s not just talking to the English-speaking countries out there. He bursts into fluent Spanish, extolling ad professionals in the many Spanish-speaking countries to consider entering. 

But Isaiah en Español is just the beginning: with a wry delivery, he proceeds to address the audience in French, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Swedish, lacing each pitch with humor. As subtitles provide translation, he says to the French, “You make awesome commercials, want to be in a museum?” And to the Brazilians, he exhorts, “You guys LOVE awards, right?”

The film ends on an otherworldly note. As Isaiah starts speaking in a strange, undecipherable tongue – seemingly extraterrestrial – the subtitles reveal who he’s addressing: “To the space people who’ll one day take over our planet and are watching thousands of years in the future, I’m sorry,” he says, his face contorted in an alien grimace. “Entries for the 2022 AICP Awards are now closed.”

The strategy behind the film, which was written by Erich & Kallman chief creative officer Eric Kallman, is simple: the AICP Awards have been fully inclusive for the past three years, open to entries from around the world. Who better to remind them than Isaiah? 

“Everyone in the world knows who Isaiah is,” says Eric. “And now he’s speaking to me in my language. And that’s what we think will make this film something people will relate to and want to share.”

“We opened all categories in the AICP Show, AICP Next Awards and AICP Post Awards to work from all markets in response to the increased globalization of the industry,” explained AICP president and CEO Matt Miller. “We also wanted to accommodate requests from production companies and agencies all over the world who wanted to have their work considered for recognition alongside the best work originating in the U.S. As our international footprint has expanded, this film captures that scope while also reflecting the unique role our awards play in honouring excellence in both craft and creativity in this global community.”

“The concept that craft crosses borders is what our message is all about, and Isaiah delivers this in such an authentic way that we’re certain this film is going to gain some traction and solidifies the AICP Awards in the top rungs of international advertising competitions,” added Mal Ward. “Adam worked with Isaiah to bring this concept to life, and editor Justin Trovato of Cosmo Street brought it all together.”

“We were delighted that Justin was able to collaborate with Adam and Eric to cut this amazing performance. The idea perfectly communicates the fact that the AICP Awards are global,” said Yvette Cobarrubias. 

Eric noted that Mustafa actually delivered all of the dialogue in the film himself, with no dubbing. “He approached this like an athlete, and with an athlete’s mindset,” Eric said. “He’s just got so many gifts, and they’re on display in this film.”

The deadline to enter and three AICP Awards competitions is March 28th, 2022. Full entry information and rules can be found here.  


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AICP, Tue, 22 Feb 2022 18:01:28 GMT