Old Spice Man, Thanks For Making Shirtless Brothers Cool



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At first, this blogger ignored the whole Old Spice Man deal until a headline article in Ad Age. Still I ignored it.

Then, the San Francisco Chapter of The American Marketing Association announced they were going to hold an entire meeting called "The Old Spice Phenomenon: A Panel Discussion On The Advertising Genius Behind The Old Spice Re-branding," On Wednesday, August 25th at 6 PM, at BARS+TONE, 1550 Bryant St, 11th Floor, San Francisco.

Another Old Spice Man? 
Then it occurred to me the SF AMA panel - and in a New Media world panels are stupid - might just hold an entire conversation without mentioning the historic racial significance of "The Old Spice Phenomenon." So, to keep them on their toes, and make people think, I created the video you see above.

The marketers will focus on the metrics, like the 29 million video views Old Spice Man has gained, or the 80,000 Twitter followers the Old Spice Brand has, or the 106 percent increase in Old Spice sales, but what they miss is the fact that for the first time, America went wild for a brand pushed by a smooth-talking black guy wearing next to nothing.

Nothing against Terry Crews, who stars in The Expendables, but the success of Isaiah Mustafa is a triumph for the African American man who doesn't fit the kind of black male stereotype Crews' version of Old Spice man presented and can be summed up in one word: menacing.

The Real Old Spice Man
Instead, Isaiah Mustafa's Old Spice Man is more like a lot of black men in American society (save for the kinda-sorta, maybe fake British-style accent, which he could have done without), well-spoken and apparently intelligent.

Women Dig Old Spice Man

The viral video performance and product movements associated with Old Spice Man are due to women. As Mary Jo Rapini wrote in Health News Digest, many of the women she talks to have a "thing" for the Old Spice Man. Mary Jo Rapini's white; she never mentions The Old Spice Man is black.

 So, from this we can see how dramatically far American Society has come, and that's something to both talk about and celebrate.
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2 comments :

  1. Hi Zennie,

    Thanks for alerting me to your post via twitter. I'm going to overlook the fact that you called the panel I was really looking forward to participating on, until I got very sick, "stupid" ;-)

    You raise a great point. That a wildly successful and innovative campaign is moving product in the "general market" (FTR I hate that euphemism) in large part because of a black star is an important part of the story. And I would have been happy to make that point (as I have previously) had I been able to participate tonight. Plus, when have shirtless brothers not been cool, worth talking about and celebrating?

    Cheers,
    Maria Niles

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never said the panel was stupid. I was referring to my video.

    ReplyDelete


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