Before Old Spice introduced the world to The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, it was the dusty bottle of cologne sitting on your grandfather’s shelf. Back then the scent of choice for young men was often the bro-centric humor of Axe, which promised average guys flocks of sexy ladies with every spray.
As soon as Isaiah Mustafa said, “Hello ladies,” though, the male grooming category had a new frontrunner, and feel. And between tons of Terry Crews and things like Mom Song, the brand has been able to keep up the laughs, and its well-earned brand image.
But the latest campaign from the brand appears to be taking a taking a left turn into Axe territory thanks a decidedly more blatant chick magnet vibe. Sure, the dude isn’t actually “a real human man,” but the suggestion that the scent of Old Spice can convince beautiful women to love even a robot is way more Astronaut than Old Spice Guy (and as a bonus, one of the spot’s gags revolves around the robot crushing the ribs of an attractive lady on the beach, who, of courses ignores the injury because, Old Spice, and laughs).
Could it be the folks at Old Spice are feeling some pressure after the viral success of rival Axe’s surprisingly un-fratty Super Bowl spot? Probably not, but it’s a bit of an odd, however slight, move for a brand that’s humor has for years avoided trolling for bro laughs. The mandroid is funny, but bro laughs are bro laughs, even if they come from a robot.