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  • 02.02.12

Old Spice Ad Finds a Wall Within the Fourth Wall; Breaks Through That One Too

In a pair of new ads, Old Spice (represented by Terry Crews) is too powerful to be contained in its own commercial, and instead hijacks spots from sibling brands, Charmin and Bounty.

Old Spice Ad Finds a Wall Within the Fourth Wall; Breaks Through That One Too
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Once again, Old Spice has raised the bar on the amount of postmodern innovating that is acceptable in a TV commercial.

Like many other ads before it, Old Spice’s new spots don’t immediately scan as advertisements for the product itself. The difference here is that these ads, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, start off literally selling other products entirely; that is, before crazy, ripped spokesman Terry Crews smashes through the wall and commandeers each commercial in the name of Old Spice. The two ads that get taken over are for Bounce and Charmin, both owned by Old Spice parent Procter & Gamble. The manic energy of an Old Spice ad feels even more jarring than usual when angrily enthusiastic Crews invades the serene domesticity of a typical laundry commercial.

These groundbreaking (and multiple wall-breaking) ads are the first commercials feature co-branding between P&G products. One can only imagine that Old Spice might eventually take the Inception-style concept even further and air a commercial within a commercial within another commercial.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.

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