Old Spice ‘Farewell Teenage Me’: An utter stinker

old spiceRemember the days when men were men, they drank, they stank and if it moved they either killed it or shagged it? Having lived through those times, we are pretty thankful they are behind us now.

But for a brand like Old Spice, which not that long ago was still using the slogan “The original. If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist”, it is tricky. How do you get the balance right between trying to appeal to the metrosexuals without alienating your core market of alpha males?

Enter a new campaign from Wieden & Kennedy London, which ignores the whole issue and instead goes for a younger market, by encouraging men to move on from their teenage selves and make a clean break with awkward adolescence.

Promoting the launch of its new ‘Premium Scents’ range, ‘Farewell Teenage Me’ has been directed by Biscuit Filmworks’ Andreas Nilsson, with a creative by Marcelo Duarte and Georgina Brisby.

Seemingly set in the States, it features two versions of the same person, a twentysomething (who looks about 40) and a Harry Enfield-style “Kevin the Teenager” (who looks about 50) as they drive along the open road.

Twentysomething man stops the car and says in a gravelly voice: “It’s time…” to which Kevin (complete with reversed baseball cap, bad skin and mobile phone game) responds “er, what time?”. Twentysomething then answers “Time for me to move on” and opens up an Old Spice box on the dashboard to reveal, well, Old Spice deodorant in dry ice, of course.

He ignores Kevin’s protests and then boots him out of the car. As he takes a deep sniff of the deodorant, an instant Tom Selleck-style moustache appears on his top lip and he speeds off, leaving his teenage self sulking on the roadside as the strapline flags up “Smellcome to Manhood”.

The spot will be run on broadcast, online and social media platforms across Europe.

Procter & Gamble senior brand director Enric Jimenez Prat said: “Building on consumer insights, we positioned Old Spice as a ‘coming of age’ product for a generation of young men boldly taking their first steps into manhood.”

Wieden + Kennedy London creative director David Colman added: “Making a comedy dialogue ad where one person plays both roles was never going to be easy but, with Andreas Nilsson behind the wheel of our ‘Oldspicemobile’ and an incredible team riding shotgun, the film was a lot of fun to make.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, to be fair, they gave it a good try; but sadly this nonsense makes us crave for the 1970s surfer ad, complete with Carmina Burana’s O Fortuna and pouting woman ruffling her blonde Farrah Fawcett-style locks. It was far more amusing than this and at least it was honest.

Then again, the last time we smelled anyone actually wearing Old Spice, Tiger FeetBallroom Blitz and You Sexy Thing were riding high in the charts and Magnum PI was on the telly. Oh, not so happy days…

Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘doesn’t smell like teen spirit’ 5 out of 10


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