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.