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Isaiah Mustafa Old Spice Commercials are a series of advertisements and YouTube response videos starring former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa standing in a bathroom. Several of the videos feature Mustafa answering people’s questions and comments received via Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other social network channels sponsored by the American grooming products brand.
Isaiah Mustafa made his debut as the Old Spice commercial model during the 2010 Super Bowl held on February 7th, 2010. Titled “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” the video featured Mustafa delivering a fast-paced monologue as the green-screen scenery changed from a bathroom to a beach ending with the actor sitting on top of a horse. The online & TV marketing campaign was written and produced by Craig Allen and Eric Kallman of the Portland-based ad agency Wieden and Kennedy.
The original commercial was well received by the audience and a number of sequel ads like “Vacation Scent” and “Did You Know?” followed afterwards. The popularity of the commercial has also led to several other television appearances for Mustafa, including the show Ellen.
On July 14th, 2010, Old Spice launched an online marketing campaign involving real-time exchange with the audience through a number of social networking sites and online communities including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Digg. During the 3-day long campaign, Mustafa replied to over 186 online comments and requests submitted by the viewers.
The successful launch of Old Spice’s campaign was praised by a number of well-known technology news blogs as well as business news sites like Urlesque, ReadWriteWeb, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Jezebel, Mashable and Geekosystem.
On July 14th, Redditors made a downloadable voicemail message website using Mustafa’s voice. The site was tweeted by the Old Spice Twitter account and was covered in an article on Read Write Web.
Reddit made this possible: http://oldspicevoicemail.com/
— Old Spice(@OldSpice) July 14, 2010
A blog entry titled “And the ‘Oldspice Maneuver’ is created, blows the doors off of advertising” by Ryan Winacko, a Canadian producer and broadcaster, published some statistics about the YouTube campaign.
* In 24 hours http://www.youtube.com/oldspice has become the most watch YouTube channel for the day, each of these videos is getting around 16,000 views on the low end and upwards of 340,000 views on the high end for replies to celebrities like Paris Hilton, Ellen Degeneres or even Twitter themselves.
* 36 hours after the first replies went live on YouTube, they had garnered a combined viewership of 23,198,055.
In August 2011, Old Spice Guy was highlighted as part of G4’s month-long popularity contest called MEMEFIGHT featuring 32 internet memes reviewed and selected by a special panel of internet culture experts. Following a series of user-voting contests, Old Spice Guy took the victory in the final round against Demotivational Posters, once again reaffirming the impact of the marketing campaign.
Interview with the Creators
Ryan Wiancko – The Oldspice Manuever Blows the doors off advertising