Old Spice Guy returns with next-gen son in 10th anniversary campaign

This iconic campaign revitalises an aging brand and helps pioneer viral advertising add-ons.

Jan 28, 2020 04:25:00 AM | Video | Elaine Underwood

Old Spice’s "Smell Like a Man, Man" campaign just reached its 10th birthday. In advertising years, that is ancient.
Wieden+Kennedy Portland, which created the original spots back in 2010, has continued the tale of the manly pitchman who used tongue-in-cheek machismo to help turn the Procter & Gamble brand from after-shave for dads, or even gramps, to body washes and styling products for millennial men.
A new campaign that breaks today extends the story. The original Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, returns in two commercials. Now, he’s the dad and an embarrassing one at that. He charges in, bare-chested, on his son while he’s at his office job and playing hoops with his friends.
This next-generation Old Spice man is played by Keith Powers, whose acting credits include the movie, "Straight Outta Compton," and television series "What/If." He’s playing a more sensitive male role to fit the times and pitches Old Spice’s new, milder-scented Ultra Smooth line. 
Like in years’ past, incongruous situations set the stage. In "Time Out," the Old Spice dad is wearing hockey skates on junior’s hoops court. In "Office Visit," he comes log rolling out of the elevator to interrupt his son’s big meeting. 
In both cases, dad’s pushing legacy Old Spice scents, Old Spice After Hours and Old Spice Fiji. "I’m not like you, dad," insists the son, who has chosen the Ultra Smooth line for himself.
Mustafa is probably the best-known Old Spice Guy. He exemplified the aspirational "the man your man could smell like" copy line. Wieden+Kennedy latched on to that positioning based on the statistic that 60 percent of body wash purchases were made by women.
Actor Terry Crews also enjoyed a memorable run in the role. 
In addition to creating advertising history, the campaign was an early player in the viral sweepstakes. For one, it launched online, prior to its Super Bowl broadcast debut. 
The first "Smell Like a Man, Man" spot captured three million YouTube views in the two weeks after its release. People are still clicking through as first-campaign views are hovering around 105 million today.  
Old Spice followed the first ads with the summer "Responses" online component. Consumers sent in questions via Twitter and Facebook for this ladies’ man to answer. Mustafa even did a video marriage proposal for a fan. 
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.com)