Smell like a Man, Man is a television advertising campaign in the United States created by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy for Old Spice. The campaign is also commonly referred to as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, being the title of the campaign's initial 30-second commercial. The campaign was initially launched to market Old Spice's Red Zone After Hours Body Wash, but has subsequently been expanded to include other products following the success of the initial advertisements.
The campaign targets female viewers, despite the product's target market being male, as the company determined that women frequently make purchasing decisions in respect of hygiene products even for male household members. (TWiT Specials... , 2010) The campaign centers around the eponymous "Man Your Man Could Smell Like", played by actor Isaiah Mustafa (Old Spice refers to him as "Old Spice Man") addressing the viewer in confident, rapid-fire monologues which promote the benefit of using Old Spice products.
While reciting the monologues, Mustafa progresses through various activities, locations, costumes, and/or extraordinary situations, all in one uninterrupted take while maintaining constant eye-contact with the camera in a nonchalant demeanor. The advertisements typically feature a surprise ending. (TWiT Specials... , 2010) The campaign was launched with two commercials: The primary 30-second spot, and a shorter 15-second companion piece, both written by Craig Allen and Eric Kallman of Wieden+Kennedy.
The spots promote Old Spice's Red Zone After Hours Body Wash. The original ad, entitled "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" was directed by Tom Kuntz, and features Mustafa reciting a monologue about how "anything is possible" if a man uses Old Spice. In a single uncut shot, Mustafa transitions from a bathroom to a sailboat to riding a horse on the beach, all without pausing his monologue or breaking eye-contact with the camera for more than a moment.
The punchline of the commercial is Mustafa's non sequitur final statement: "I'm on a horse", delivered as the camera zooms out to reveal to the viewer that Mustafa is now sitting atop a horse. Allen and Kallman confirmed that the commercial was filmed in a single uninterrupted take requiring three days of shooting and numerous attempts to achieve a successful take. Minimal computer-generated imagery (CGI) was used, consisting of overlaying a separately shot artificial hand during the segment where diamonds flow from Mustafa's palm and the body wash ises through the pile of diamonds with a separately filmed shot of the hand. (TWiT Specials... , 2010)
The remaining effects were practical and achieved on-set, including a crane lifting the bathroom set from above, a crew member dropping a pre-formed shirt over Mustafa's head from above, and a cart that carried Mustafa from the boat set onto the back of a horse. (The man... ,2010) Filmed at the same time as the main commercial was a 15-second "sting" entitled "Did You Know", in which the camera pulls back from a close-up of Mustafa to reveal that he is riding a horse backwards.
Mustafa gained significant popularity and notoriety from the initial ads, and he and Old Spice capitalized by producing a plethora of online videos featuring Mustafa in-character. In a series of videos, Mustafa responded by video to numerous Twitter posts directed to Old Spice's Twitter account, including several videos directed towards celebrities. Other longer videos were created as well.
In 2011, it was announced that Fabio would become the Old Spice spokesman, leading to criticism from fans of Mustafa. This led to a poll as to which spokesman viewers preferred. A "Mano a Mano" video was produced featuring a confrontation between the two. The New York Daily News gave the initial ad a favorable mention, citing Mustafa's "wildly smug, cool-cat smooth dude persona", which "helped make the cologne commercial pop". (Old Spice's... 010) People magazine's Blane Bachelor called Mustafa's monologue "sharply scripted" and his character "smug, and over the top". (Meet the... ,2010)
The spot has been parodied on Sesame Street, where the monster Grover takes Mustafa's role to illustrate the word 'on'. However, his narrations do not go as smoothly: the dropped shirt fails to fall around his neck; the clam containing the tickets bites his nose, forcing him to fling it away; and despite claiming he is on a horse at the end, he is actually on a cow.