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My Most Immortal Ad: Lora Schulson



The Immortal Awards juror and director of production for 72andSunny NYC on an Old Spice culture bomb

My Most Immortal Ad: Lora Schulson
There are less than two weeks left to enter this year's Immortal Awards and, in the run up to the September 10th entry deadline, our jurors have been taking it in turns to select the ads and campaigns that are most immortal to them, revealing the reasons why they've stayed with them until this day.

Next up is Lora Schulson, director of production at 72andSunny NYC, who heads back a decade for a brand transforming spot that was parodied by an inaugural Immortal Awards winner...

Old Spice 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' (Wieden+Kennedy Portland, 2010)

The first time I saw the iconic Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” I was filled with envy, wishing I had been a part of making it.

It didn’t run on the Super Bowl, it ran after the 4th quarter. Everything about it made for a real culture bomb and led to what is the gold standard in our industry - a true brand transformation. The spot is hilarious, absurd and a totally unique film. Old Spice was considered a cheap brand that was out of fashion and suddenly, it was relevant and trending. The ad is the perfect balance of writing, craft and culture, all done with the product as the overt, over the top, driving force of the idea. It took the conventions of what an ad is and twisted it into something funny and new. Casting handsome and slightly too perfect Isaiah Mustafa with his (literally) airbrushed abs and his radio announcer smooth delivery and by overtly pandering to the ladies, building off of the insight that ladies buy most of their men’s body cleaning products - made it insider and outsider funny. 

And the thing that forever puts this on the top of my list is the execution. Yes, I am a Producer but this idea was made even better through production. The jokes delivered through cliche sight gags, done all in-camera, all in one-take, elevated the comedy. The lo-fi almost janky approach, made it stand out against the trend of slick, high production value ads. The love and engagement with this single ad, launched a decade long, multifaceted campaign (the response campaign had more views in 24 hrs, than Obama's 2016 election victory speech) and created a shift in our industry around humor and production value. And it immediately became part of culture. 

And it’s still funny, 10 years later. I still wish I had made it.

The Immortal Awards entry system is closing on September 10th. Every member of Little Black Book is entitled to up to five entries, depending on their membership tier. This year, Bronze members receive two entries, whilst Silver and Gold members get five entries. The full list of rules, including eligibility dates, can be found here.

If you’d like to enter the Immortal Awards but you’re not yet a member of LBB, sign up here today. If you’re already a member and would like to increase your number of entries, you can upgrade your membership here.

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The Immortal Awards, Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:21:00 GMT