Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

01 August 2011

Old Spice Mano a Mano: The Concession Nobody Actually Should've Received

I think this was done because people freaked out at the (ludicrous!) idea of Fabio replacing Isaiah Mustafa as Old Spice guy, so kudos to W+K for the lightning-fast responsiveness it's demonstrated throughout this campaign. It's what's made it a living part of the culture.

But this still sort of hurts me to watch. It's kind of like, "Okay, here's what you want on a silver platter, and while we're at it let's make fun of Fabio's acting skillz and general incoherence."

Never mind the piles of Harlequin novels he punted with just a swish of his hair and a ripped-open vest. Wasn't he great at selling butter? I still want butter when I watch this guy. Credit where it's due, right...? Come on, guys, you're gonna ruin Isaiah for me.*

This is one of those Gone with the Wind situations where people bitch for something (in this case, the perpetuity of Mustafa) but know deep in their hearts that what they want, if realised, will only spoil a great thing. But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. It could have worked the other way. Maybe what Isaiah wants is a long, vibrant career as a deodorant mascot, as opposed to riding this righteous wave into bigger opps in the culture.

It seems like Old Spice wants to move on though, and if it does, it should commit instead of being all waffly about it. Fabio struck me as a defining choice, even if I wasn't necessarily crazy about the new tone.

But that's not Fabio's fault, either. His launch as New Icon was weaker than it could have been.


*Actually, it is with great displeasure that I proclaim he is officially ruined for me. This self-effacing victory dance was one video too many. Way to win, Wieden.

1 comment:

Jeff Kwiatek said...

One thing that happened, and this has severely impacted the ads, is the loss of Eric Kallman. His voice and the words that he put into the words of Mustafa sort of made the campaign what it was. Sure there are new writers, probably trained under him, but he's one of those rare people that you *need* to make this work. Although it might be scary it is time for W+K to throw in the towel on this campaign. It was a good run.