"Now he smells like a man and they treat him like one.". There in a nutshell you have everything you ever wanted to know about the appeal of the Old Spice products. Old Spice is manly and it makes women treat you like a man. A man, not a boy. Yes, dear reader, we're putting the scalpel on the newest goofy Old Spice commercial which has surreal, frumpy and constantly hovering mums lamenting -in song!- how their little boys have changed gears and are on the way to hell on a handbasket because they changed into Old Spice which draws feminine attention in a way not yet dreamed of. "I didn't see it coming, but it came in a can". Indeed!
Affectionately referred to as "the mom song" the new Old Spice commercial is in my opinion doing everything it sets out to do (which makes it a success): namely drawing the attention span of young males into seeing an old standby with fresh eyes. And it has such a weird, goofy, upping the ante factor cleverly built in that it can't help becoming viral.
As my perceptive reader who sent me the clip, Cacio, puts it: "Old spice was, quintessentially, grampa, certainly not something that could appeal to teens. In recent years they've been trying to reposition themselves to capture the vast male teen bodyspray market (where Axe seems to dominate). Hence a series of funny, zingy, parodistic ads, like the cult machoman ad* of a few years back which managed to be both ironic and convince males that it was after all ok to wear scents. Now this one in an even more surreal type of humor, explicitly directed at teens."
It's unfortunate that the commercial has generated such grumpiness at dedicated fragrance groups (such as on Basenotes) who worked themselves up because -really- the target audience isn't the repeat buyers of the Old Spice in the familiar white bottle with the little ship on it and the tiny conical stopper, but the teenagers and college frat boys who buy the big spray cans sitting next to Axe/Lynx at the drugstore and the supermarket shelves. Where I'm disagreeing, sorta, with Cacio above is that Old Spice is not repositioning themselves. They have already repositioned. The commercials are the optical affirmation and seal on this repositioning. The old grampas are, alas, dying away and a new market is emerging. Instead of lamenting the "loss" of one, let's rejoice in the harvesting of another. Old Spice still smells quite good. In fact much much better than the various variants of Axe do and many, many boys' mothers online and in real life are thankful for this. Aren't you?
*Those have become modern classics and deservedly so.