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Old Spice reboots its original 'Smell Like a Man' campaign

Old Spice has revived its 'Smell Like a Man, Man' tagline in a new campaign that marks the tenth anniversary of the original commercial. The new campaign includes two spots, flaunting a father-son narrative in a bid to promote new products.

In 2010, the brand unveiled the original Smell Like a Man spot featuring actor Isaiah Mustafa as the 'Old Spice Guy'. Addressing the female audience, the protagonist (Isaiah) boasts his masculinity while insinuating how all the 'regular joes' from among the viewers could embrace manhood by smelling like him, smelling like a man – all the while taking a sly dig at wonted effeminate fragrances that men supposedly employ.

While the communication ran along thin lines of political correctness, it wouldn't be speculative to suggest it carried a potential risk of falling on either side of the fence. Yet, the campaign made a name for itself with the spot becoming one of the most popular commercials of recent times, having clocked well over 50 million views on YouTube, in addition to having become a pop culture reference.

The new campaign, titled #SmellLikeYourOwnManMan, aims to recycle the trademark tagline, seeking to promote Old Spice's new products which include two deodorants, antiperspirants, and body wash in the fragrances of, as the brand claims, “clean, subtle scents” of lime seltzer, melon and blackcurrant. While the story line for both the spots is slightly and ever so vaguely different, the umbrella theme of the campaign has its imprint on both the adverts. In one of the films, the father (Isaiah) approaches his son (played by actor Keith Powers) asking him to join the family business. And after a clear-cut refusal, the ad film transitions into a product promotion where the father-son duo showboat their own Old Spice products.

In the second ad film, the son is seen balling with his friend when his father arrives, on ice skates, in a basketball court. What follows is an artistic glorification of Old Spice's After Hours deodorant that ends with a ball-in from a high horse – literally. The campaign has been crafted by Wieden & Kennedy, the creative agency that devised the decade old original as well.

The brand has revealed that the spots will see presence across social media, especially during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, and has also hinted at the appearance of the Old Spice Guy during the big game broadcast.