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Brands We Like: Old Spice

Eric Groves

By Eric Groves

We’re making a smell-mitment to one of our favorite brands: Old Spice. The Old Spice brand is what the angel-faced marketer in your company dreams about. It uses humor and makes fun of stereotypical manliness to give the brand personality, and it’s doing it better than many other brands today.

Old Spice has one unwavering element to all of their advertising; remarkable, potent content. Talk about voice and attitude! Every marketing material that has that distinct white boat on it offers some creative copy that goes beyond just explaining their product because explaining deodorant and soap as just what it is will get boring fast. At the end of the day, their product isn’t the most exciting thing to use. It’s just soap. It’s not an innovative, exciting product, it’s just an everyday item that you must use.


Hello brands. Look at your brand, now back to me… Now back to your brand. Your brand is not Old Spice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build something just as effective. When Old Spice broke onto the scene with this classic commercial, “The Man your Man Could Smell like” they were producing different advertising that made women laugh, and men want to smell like Isaiah Mustafa (the smooth ladies man in the commercial).

Creating these manhood-spoofs was a great way to show that the Old Spice brand has a great sense of humor- something we stress as an important factor of branding. Why do we think brands that make you chuckle are better than being serious? You want your brand to have a personality. If you think of your brand like a person, would you rather talk with someone who is stiff or boring, or someone who is lively, with a great sense of humor?


If there was one word we could choose to sum up Old Spice’s advertising it would be: weird. The beauty is, they’re not afraid of being totally weird with their sense of humor, which we really love. If you want to see the weirdness for yourself, head on over to their Twitter account. They’re brave with their sense of humor, and frankly, they have some really bizarre imagery that you weren’t expecting. Like bears with human biceps, and helicopters shooting laser beams. Or Terry Crews’ head on a woodpecker’s body.


Great brands can spin tales worthy of bringing you to the edge of your seat. There’s a reason that the Old Spice brand reeks of personality- it’s because every bit of copy, whether it is key messaging, scripts for television ads or microcopy on their website, is carefully thought out with personality woven into them.

Take our brand quiz, and you will be able to spot the Old Spice product description right away. Instead of just giving soap specs and scent talk, they say something like this:

brands we like

“Take your lady friend by the hand and dive deep into the crystal-clear scents of Old Spice Foxcrest. The smells are pure and are guaranteed to teach you both the fine arts of French cooking and Italian massages. These arts come from two countries that are known for romance, but there is only one smell that is known to teach you these things, and it’s Old Spice Foxcrest like I said earlier.”

Next time you’re looking to improve your “mansmells” and you’re in the deodorant aisle, take a look at one of those red-packaged Old Spice products. Even just holding the bottle, you’ll experience the brand by seeing labels that feature bears, wolves, timber trees or other “manly” things. This brand is consistent with its voice, personality and style, which is why it is definitely a brand we like. And it doesn’t hurt that it smells good.



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