Over the years, Old Spice has had plenty of hilarious TV spots with a myriad of charismatic spokesmen. Some of them big names like Fabio, Bruce Campbell, and Seth MacFarlane. But it’s a man named Isaiah Mustafa, a former football player from Arizona State University whose acting portfolio was limited to a few small guest spots on TV shows, who managed to become everybody’s favorite Old Spice man during a brilliant 2010 ad campaign.
Mustafa plays “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, an impossibly charming and sexy man who can take you on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a stretch to call him a woman’s dream man, because frankly he is beyond the imagination of almost any human being. Doing things like “baking you a gourmet cake in the dream kitchen he built you with his bare hands” and taking you to Fiji and Matterhorn and on and on. They are cartoonishly bizarre and whimsical and always laugh-out-loud funny. The idea is that while no man can be as perfect as Mustafa’s 6’3”, muscular, rich, adventurous connoisseur of all things spectacular, you can at least smell like him if you use Old Spice.
The genius of the advertisements comes from the fact that each TV spot is performed in one long take with the actor venturing through often as many as six or seven locations over the course of a minute or so. During filming, Mustafa is typically suspended on cables in front of sets and backdrops which a team of stagehands have to constantly switch out quickly and seamlessly. The result is extremely engaging with the viewer always waiting to see what ridiculous thing happens next. It’s hilarious, it’s entertaining, and if you’re the kind of person who is interested in video production or trying to figure out how certain special effects are pulled off, the ads are often mind-blowing, probably more so than any other ad campaign in recent history.
Advertiser: Old Spice