Old Spice Is Turning Into An Old Debate

We’ve all seen the Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign. But depending on who you ask, you’ll get any number of opinions. It increased sales. It didn’t increase sales, the coupons that ran simultaneously did. It was effective. It wasn’t effective. It was truly viral. It wasn’t a real viral effort. And so on.

The latest person to pour cold water on the deodorant is Jeff Rosenbaum, the founding partner of Questus. Here’s part of his take on the ads in Ad Age:

Many of us look at the ad as a template for success. We want our ads to be overwhelmingly funny. We want to have our social marketing make people laugh hysterically. But your products probably aren’t made for hairy armpits.

I agree with the idea that this campaign shouldn’t be looked at a template for success. Because you can’t duplicate the elements that made it so original and so funny. But frankly, there are way too many products out there being advertising with a tonality that’s as serious as a heart attack.

Advertising takes itself, and the products it sells, way too seriously. And if a little levity can be brought into the selling cycle, I think we all benefit. But, like someone once said, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.