Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Return of Old Spice
The first fragrance I used regularly was Old Spice. There wasn’t an option in those days. You either applied no aftershave at all, or you applied Old Spice. The brand’s advertisements played regularly on television, featuring bronzed, square jawed surfers; and the crescendo from Carmina Burana’s O Fortuna. I was aware that, in the wider world, Old Spice was an unfashionable brand. A Billy Joel record I possessed had him singing of taking his old man’s Trojans and Old Spice aftershave. If Billy Joel’s dad used Old Spice it couldn’t possibly be cool. My dad used it as well, and a similar conclusion could be drawn from that fact. In any case, how hip could a product be that had ‘old’ in its name?
I’m gobsmacked, therefore, that Old Spice has made a comeback. It's all thanks to a series of advertisements that have gone viral on the Web. The clever original spot, for Old Spice shower gel, cannily took aim at the notion that such products are for girlie men. It also targetted women, because surveys showed they were the ones buying stuff like shower gel for husbands and boyfriends.
Here’s a long interview about how the commercial was made.