Old Spice guy forced to wear shirt in accepting Emmy for best ad

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Aug 25 2010


Is Isaiah Mustafa even more beloved than Betty White? He was this past weekend at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, beating out the octogenarian for the award for best TV commercial. White was nominated for the Snickers ad that launched during the Super Bowl, but Mustafa and ad agency Wieden + Kennedy took the Emmy for "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" for Old Spice Body Wash. It's the latest in a growing line of formal praise for a campaign that hit TV like a ton of bricks and became an ongoing viral sensation. (It moved a ton of product, too.) Mustafa, a former NFL player whose six pack is perhaps as well known now as his face, had to keep his shirt on for the event in Los Angeles—"due to the dress code," agency folks told our brother pub, The Hollywood Reporter. Sorry, ladies! Old Spice beat out Absolut vodka's "Anthem" (TBWA\Chiat\Day), Audi's "Green Car" (Venables, Bell & Partners), Snicker's "Game" (BBDO) and Nike's "Human Chain" and Coca-Cola's "Finals" (both also from Wieden).

Cursed or not, Nike's major World Cup stars wrote a lousy future

By Noreen O'Leary on Mon Jul 12 2010

So, now that the World Cup is over, let's flashback to the beginning, when we were all mesmerized by Nike's awesome "Write the Future" ad from Wieden + Kennedy. The three-minute creative epoch, which canonized some of soccer's biggest names, explored the fine line between footballer glory and failure. So, on which side of that line did these highly paid guys land? Mostly failure. After England crashed out against Germany, lethargic striker Wayne Rooney didn't retreat to a dingy caravan; he flew to his $7.5 million seaside mansion in Barbados. Far from the debonair, tuxedo-clad Ping Pong player who trounces Roger Federer in the commercial, he's just been voted the ugliest footballer on the planet. As for Portugal's reigning stud, Cristiano Ronaldo, he's had to settle for a mini-me rather than a towering statue in the center of Lisbon after his side was defeated by Spain. Ronaldo, who's been exploring his feminine side through tweets about his new son born of a surrogate mother, has also been spotted poolside in New York with dainty, lacquered toenails. Italy's Fabio Cannavaro returned home to a barrage of rotten vegetables, not TV-show serenades, after the previous World Cup holders couldn't even advance out of the group stage. Ditto for Franck Ribéry, whom Nike used to taunt Rooney as a replacement ad pin-up in the spot, after France's shambolic performance caused them to also exit at the group stage. As for Brazil's Ronaldinho, he never even got to South Africa, let alone inspire a craze for "Samba-robics" modeled after his own victory dance. In the view of some observers, Nike's roster of superstars are so incapable of writing their own future, they're firmly in the grip of a brand curse.

Wieden ads put Old Spice back in touch with its seafaring roots

Posted on Wed Jun 30 2010

If you've seen the Old Spice ads featuring a swarthy and shirtless ex-football pro Isaiah Mustafa, you've seen the latest hot dude sending the message you can blame Axe for telling not-so-hot dudes back in 2005: Psst, dudes, if your armpits smell good, you'll get some. But enough of that. Look a bit more closely at these spots from Wieden + Kennedy and you'll see something else at work: The crafty return of a device that built Old Spice into one of the first dude brands of the 20th century: the ocean.

Continue reading "Wieden ads put Old Spice back in touch with its seafaring roots" »

Target celebrates 'Lost' series finale with spots tied into the show

Posted on Mon May 24 2010

Whatever you thought of last night's Lost finale, there's no denying that the Target ads that ran during the four-and-a-half-hour presentation were pretty clever. As a presumed one-time-only event, the retailer ran spots that tied in thematically to the show. A vision of the Smoke Monster, for instance, led to a plug for a smoke detector. A shot of a guy typing in the 4-8-15-16-23-42 sequence was actually an ad for computer keyboards, and so on. The spots continue the "Life's a moving target" theme, introduced by Wieden + Kennedy. Meanwhile, spoofs are already out there.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Old Spice teaches guys another neat party trick: the pec bounce!

Posted on Fri Apr 2 2010

Shirts off to the deodorant category for teaching we fellas how to do some nifty things. First came Axe in 2009. With some help of a sweat-streaked skateboard god Ryan Scheckler, the company taught us "double pits to chesty"—a Z-shaped motion designed to deposit Axe's coitus-inducing scents under our arms and on our chests, too! Now we have "Punch," a new Old Spice spot from Wieden + Kennedy in which retired linebacker Terry Crews shows us guys yet another dude maneuver. Pitching the new Old Spice Odor Blocker Body Wash, the former NFL star stands shirtless in the locker room and alternately flexes his pectorals so they bounce. No, we're not kidding—there are squishy sound effects to accompany it. Hey dudes, you gotta go home and try that. Too bad getting rock-hard pecs isn't as easy as buying some Old Spice.

—Posted by Robert Klara

Wieden's latest Coke spot imagines Olympic-size snowball fight

Posted on Tue Jan 19 2010

Here's some good clean fun courtesy of our friends at Coca-Cola and Wieden + Kennedy. This commercial imagines a scene before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver where athletes engage in a little snowball fight. It's all a misunderstanding, though, because a bunch of snow falls on one of the Canadian athletes, prompting him to drop his Coke. Then, in a surprising move (surprising because Canadians aren't known for their hot-headedness), his teammate hurls a snowball at the Swedish team, and then France surprisingly gets pulled into the action (surprising because they usually like to sit out conflicts), and then, before you know it, all hell breaks loose in what reminded me of the famously deleted pie-fighting scene from Dr. Strangelove. The spot ends with the original athlete finding a vending machine to get his Coke fix. The creative continues to build on the notion of a magical Coke machine that dispenses happiness, or in this case, restores world order.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Wieden's new Honda commercial is itself a marvel of engineering

Posted on Tue Dec 15 2009

In this new spot for Honda U.K., Wieden + Kennedy London details the breadth of the automaker's engineering expertise, ranging from ATVs and marine engines to motorcycles and the humanoid robot Asimo—and to cars, of course, particularly Honda's British-produced Civic model. The 60-second ad "Everything" breaks on Thursday in U.K. cinemas that are premiering James Cameron's Avatar. The agency considered doing a 3-D shoot similar to that used in the blockbuster film. But it wouldn't have worked for the spot's film technique, which is jaw-dropping even by the standards of complexity in the agency's previous Honda commercials like "Cog." (Another collaboration, "Grrr," was named Commercial of the Decade by AdweekMedia.) The fluid series of fractured visuals, music and sound design required 972 edits over 17 video layers, essentially making each section an edit in itself. The soundtrack, "Atlas" by Battles, was rearranged to fit the picture and reflect the editing style used for the ad.

—Posted by Noreen O'Leary

Parody of Coke Zero body-parts campaign features NSFW guest

Posted on Mon Aug 31 2009

I suppose when you run ads featuring talking pink tongues, you're kind of asking for it. But here's a very well-done (and very off-color and not safe for work) spoof of the animated Coke Zero campaign by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam that imagines what would happen if other body parts got into the action. Though the depiction of the organ in question is pretty graphic, this spoof veers away when things could get really disturbing, which is a plus. But this is still not meant for the young 'uns. As for the target audience, though, some will no doubt echo one YouTube commentor who writes: "I want it on TV!"

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Old Spice burnishes geek credentials with 'Krod Mandoon' deal

Posted on Mon Apr 6 2009

There's a six-degrees-of-separation thing going on here, so try to keep up, OK?
  Bruce Campbell starred in the cult-classic Evil Dead movies and also in an Old Spice ad campaign not long ago that played to his geeks-in-the-know fan base. Comedy Central is launching a new series in the Evil Dead vein: a fantasy action series called Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire that's a little Hercules and Xena and a lot of righteous warriors, evil rulers and exaggerated British accents. Ergo, Old Spice is sponsoring the premiere of Krod Mandoon with limited commercial interruption. You follow?
  The marketer, apparently a fan of genre-bending parody for young males, will be the exclusive sponsor of the one-hour series launch, airing this Thursday. And with the deal, Comedy Central gets into the game that a lot of cable channels and networks have been playing for some time—namely, selling a highly touted episode to a single advertiser. Old Spice will use the time to air its centaur spot. You know, the disconcerting one from Wieden + Kennedy and Digital Domain that lets us peek at a half-man/half-horse while he's sudsing up in the shower. Now, if the centaur could just get a Krod Mandoon cameo appearance, everything would be connected.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Honda creates its own light show, but with cars instead of sheep

Posted on Mon Mar 30 2009

As Samsung has shown, if you get enough sheep and lights together, you can simulate a giant videogame. Honda has apparently upped the ante by doing something very similar with what look like hundreds of cars turning their lights on and off. The fleet of cars were brought together by Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, to promote the Insight, a vehicle Honda describes as "the most affordable hybrid on the market." The ad breaks in April to support a European launch (no word on whether the ad is coming to U.S. TV), but it's already logged more than 120,000 views on YouTube, thanks to its arresting imagery and what the company describes as a "bespoke version" of the gospel children's song "This Little Light of Mine," which has been performed by Bruce Springsteen, among others (though the ad leaves out the Jesus parts). Though the response has been pretty positive on YouTube, a one wag couldn't help commenting that Honda "had to do something with all those cars they can't sell."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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