Manliness and Old Spice Essay

Manliness and Old Spice Essay

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Can a body wash make you more of a man? Old Spice certainly has the answer and they’re not afraid to imply that either. Old Spice published the soon-to-be-viral ad “Questions” mid 2010 to their official YouTube channel teasing that very question. The ad mockingly stereotypes aspects of manliness while asking male and female viewers alike to assess the manliness of their man or themselves. While "Questions” does little to describe the product it advertises, it proves its merit as an effective advertisement because it strikes all three chords of persuasion; It tickles our love of humor while establishing a mental relationship between the product and manliness by using a perfect manly specimen to convey these points.

Our towel clad idol, Isaiah Mustafa, begins the commercial at what seems to be a shower station on a beautiful beach. The scenic backdrop splits vertically down the center and moves away from Mustafa to reveal him logrolling seconds before he walks across the surface of a tranquil lake while simultaneously catching a falling cake and walking into a kitchen where he proceeds to power-saw a counter-top with his remaining free hand until he finally leaves the saw behind and drops cake before comes to a stop atop a waterfall. He then dives from the watery cliff into a bubbling hot tub, which then breaks away to reveal that Mustafa is riding a motorcycle. Mustafa flawlessly performed the entire skit while maintaining a stern focus on the camera. As we follow Mustafa through his transitions he is addressing female viewers and proposing questions to them, heavily implying that if their man used Old Spice body wash then he could then be more like Isaiah Mustafa.

In his skit, the questions Mustafa asks are meant to exagg...

... middle of paper ...

...s provided the company with an internet sensation that not only builds and sells its brand, but it also makes its viewers laugh, question themselves, and gives consumers a likeable and authoritative figure to trust on the subject of manliness. After analyzing each ingredient that Old Spice has thrown into its manly cauldron of advertising, It’s no wonder how they were able take the internet by storm. The only question is if they’ll be “man” enough to keep the incredibly popular momentum they’ve gained thus far.

Works Cited

“Questions” by Old Spice. YouTube. YouTube, 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

O’Barr, William. “Creativity in Advertising.” Advertising & Society Review 11.4 (20010):
n. pag. Web. 10 Dec 2013.
Sarah. "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like."Advertising & Society.,
13 May 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. .

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