Smell like a Man, Man is a television advertising campaign in the United States created by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy for Old Spice. The campaign is also commonly referred to as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, being the title of the campaign’s initial 30-second commercial. The campaign was initially launched to market Old Spice’s Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, but has subsequently been expanded to include other products following the success of the initial advertisements. The campaign targets female viewers, despite the product’s target market being male, as the company determined that women frequently make purchasing decisions in respect of hygiene products even for male household members.
The campaign centers around the eponymous The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, played by actor Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice refers to him as “Old Spice Man”) addressing the viewer in confident, rapid-fire monologues which promote the benefit of using Old Spice products. While reciting the monologues, Mustafa progresses through various activities, locations, costumes, and/or extraordinary situations, all in one uninterrupted take while maintaining constant eye-contact with the camera in a nonchalant demeanor. The advertisements typically feature a surprise ending.
The New York Daily News gave the initial ad a favorable mention, citing Mustafa’s “wildly smug, cool-cat smooth dude persona”, which “helped make the cologne commercial pop”. People magazine’s Blane Bachelor called Mustafa’s monologue “sharply scripted” and his character “smug, and over the top”. The commercial was a hit on video-sharing websites, such as YouTube, where it had already received over 43,600,000 views by November 19, 2012. In June 2010 the ad won the Grand Prix for film at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and in July 2010 it won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.
The created feeling of connection between the Old Spice Man and the audience, which is also known as a para-social relationship formed an important part of the success of the campaign. Overall this combined with the original ad series to become one of the “most popular viral campaigns in recent history”.
The Man Your Man Could Smell Like