Green Room

Poll: Did Old Spice cross the line in Mom’s Song ad?

posted at 2:15 pm on January 6, 2014 by

There are actually two questions that got raised on Twitter yesterday when Old Spice debuted its latest ad, called either “Mom’s Song” or “Smellcome to Manhood,” although the latter might be more a campaign theme. First, just how creepy is it to have moms depicted as stalking their young-adult sons and their makeout sessions? And second, why do all the moms in this look overweight and/or unpleasant? Here’s the ad:

After an explosion of criticism, Dan Riehl reminded everyone that Old Spice is looking to find consumers under 70 years of age now. Of course they’re going to compete in the Axe market:

What do you think? Take the poll:

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There wasn’t an option for “Meh, just old folks wishing they could be young again.”

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Haha. I thought it was funny.

aryeung on January 6, 2014 at 2:33 PM

It was creepy. The only thing I got out of that commercial was moms are ugly and pathetic.

You can disagree but high school boys are going to be talking Old Spice and getting laid in school tomorrow. That’s all they wanted

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) January 6, 2014

I love Dan but he’s wrong here. This commercial screams desperate.

Rocks on January 6, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Gaah. I meant to display the results. I’ve fixed the code and it should be working properly in a few minutes.

Ed Morrissey on January 6, 2014 at 2:34 PM

I did not know Gaah had two a’s.

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I thought it was creepy, but it didn’t cross the line.

On the other hand, I’m all in favor of any advertising campaign if it gets rid of that awful assault-on-the-senses stench of Axe.

DRayRaven on January 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I did not know Gaah had two a’s.

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Usually when I screw up, it has 7 As. This was just a momentary issue. :-)

Ed Morrissey on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Watched it with my 18 year old son. He was dying with laughter. 18 year old boys like creepy stuff.

ctmom on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I just thought it was dumb, period. Sexist or creepy? Eh, not sure about that.

changer1701 on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

It was funny and creepy.

Now, how to get Brut sales moving again.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I actually thought the ads was pretty tame… But, hey, we’re all talking about it!

aryeung on January 6, 2014 at 2:39 PM

First, just how creepy is it to have moms depicted as stalking their young-adult sons and their makeout sessions?

Old spies.

Shy Guy on January 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The only part I thought was creepy was the last shot of Mom emerging from the couch and planking across the room Nosferatu-style.

CurtZHP on January 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I thought it was hilarious when it came on, particularly the fake janitor. And those really look like regular moms. How would the “pained at watching my little boy chased by women” dynamic have played if all the moms had been dolled up supermodels? Extra creepy, that’s how.

JeremiahJohnson on January 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I use Old Spice deodorant – well I did until I saw this really creepy commercial – but I’m over 50, so not their target demographic for these ads, I guess….
I liked their other off-the-wall commercial campaign, but this one is kind of sick.

You can disagree but high school boys are going to be talking Old Spice and getting laid in school tomorrow. That’s all they wanted

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) January 6, 2014

HS boys will NOT actually get laid by talking about or using Old Spice after this commercial….

dentarthurdent on January 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Why didn’t they just rebrand it to New Spice?

faraway on January 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

HS boys will NOT actually get laid by talking about or using Old Spice after this commercial….
dentarthurdent on January 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Which is an entirely different issue.

aryeung on January 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I thought it was funny.

gophergirl on January 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I wasn’t watching it too closely, but it looked like it should have been a Super Bowl commercial.

22044 on January 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

My first thought was “My God…what did I just watch?!?” then I immediately laughed and shared the clip with multiple friends who all had similar reactions.

To those who say this is sexist or portrays moms are frumpy/unattractive…they must have REALLY hated Roseanne when that show was on then.

And P.S. a lot of moms look like that.

nextgen_repub on January 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Which is an entirely different issue.

aryeung on January 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM

True – but if the girls are creeped out by it, any bump in sales will likely drop off really quick.

dentarthurdent on January 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM

It could have been worse. They could have engaged the “talents” of the Spice Girls to hawk their product. Now, THAT would have been creepy.

CurtZHP on January 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

There is no box for: Just plain stupid!

chicken thief on January 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Who the heck is Dan Riehl and why should I care what a potty mouth like him thinks?

Redglen on January 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I picke “Yes, Both” because there was not a category for “It made me not want to buy Old Spice products.”

Knott Buyinit on January 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I found it creepy, but only because of the way the one mom sort of…slithered across the floor. o.O

Other than that, it is a bizarre commercial. Not sure it would make me want to buy Old Spice, but then I’m not in the target group…

Othniel on January 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

The box that Old Spice comes in at the store says “If your grandfather hadn’t used it, you wouldn’t exist.”

TB on January 6, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I thought it was pretty dang funny, as did my Bride.

Mr. Bingley on January 6, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Since when do straight men use body spray?

Am just sayin’.

Lickmuffin on January 6, 2014 at 3:12 PM

The Chinese Mom commercial is the best

sentinelrules on January 6, 2014 at 3:20 PM

There is no box for: Just plain stupid!

chicken thief on January 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Yeah, I would have selected that option as well.

It was not offensive, nor did it make me want to run out and buy Old Spice (I gave up using it around 35 years ago, and even then it was my father’s). It’s kind of a stodgy, old man’s scent if you ask me. But maybe it’ll catch on with younger dudes.

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

I’ve been afraid to watch TV after being exposed to the Jingle Bells boxer shorts commercial.

BobMbx on January 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Yes it’s funny, but creepy, but then so again Dan Riehl is often creepy himself.

simkeith on January 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Over 40, so I don’t expect to get it, but my bottom line is that anything associating sex with my Mom coming out of the recliner or whatever is a strong “No Buy.”

Xasprtr on January 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM

It’s kind of a stodgy, old man’s scent if you ask me. But maybe it’ll catch on with younger dudes.

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

I’ve discovered that Old Spice does the same thing to 20-something gold-diggers that ammonia does to bucks during the rut.

Its irresistible.

BobMbx on January 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

I’d rather see Isaiah Mustafa shirtless, but whatev’.

Still using Old Spice. Good enough for Grandpa Jeddite, still good enough for Grandson Jeddite.

Jeddite on January 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I thought the commercial was funny and creepy. My wife was creeped out by it but I said at the time that people would be talking about it which is the desired result of a good commercial.

I ended up watching it a few times and even my 17 yr old daughter thought it was funny. But she also said that she would be turned off by a boy wearing it because it reminds her of her dear old dad (I’ve always used Old Spice deodorant) I hope all the boys use it now.

Ditkaca on January 6, 2014 at 3:41 PM

It’s kind of a stodgy, old man’s scent if you ask me. But maybe it’ll catch on with younger dudes.

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Depends on what specific items you’re talking about. Their deodorant sticks come in several “flavors”, like pure sport, fresh scent, and such.
But I don’t know anything about any of their other products.

I’d rather see Isaiah Mustafa shirtless, but whatev’.
Still using Old Spice. Good enough for Grandpa Jeddite, still good enough for Grandson Jeddite.

Jeddite on January 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Yes – I liked those commercials – a little weird but funny.

dentarthurdent on January 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

If you want your Y-chromosome offspring to grow up smoochin’ bros, get him on Axe.

Jeddite on January 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

On the other hand, I’m all in favor of any advertising campaign if it gets rid of that awful assault-on-the-senses stench of Axe.

DRayRaven on January 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Agreed!! I have two sons. One uses Axe and it’s horrible. The other actually uses Old Spice (they have many different fragrances now) and I would gladly take that smell over Axe.

crowhop on January 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Watched it with my 18 year old son. He was dying with laughter. 18 year old boys like creepy stuff.

ctmom on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Interesting. So it is hitting the demo.

I mostly just thought it was creepy and a little cringy, but I definitely don’t see any lines crossed in it. The ad is far less sexual than anything Axe ever put out.

Esthier on January 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Smells viral to me. Teh good.

RushBaby on January 6, 2014 at 3:52 PM

It was funny and creepy.

Now, how to get Brut sales moving again.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Or how about “Hai Karate”…

yubley on January 6, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Now, how to get Brut sales moving again.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM
Or how about “Hai Karate”…

yubley on January 6, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Bristol Cream?

dentarthurdent on January 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

It looked creepy until I saw the woman skiing behind the car in a laundry basket. LOL. After that it was funny.

Kafir on January 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

It’s kind of creepy yet humorous, and targets the women who buy Old Spice products for the men in their families but I still prefer their classic “I’m on a horse” spot.

jix on January 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

aaand the refresh blew up my post. Again.

The only reason anyone still talks about Old Spice as a brand is because they went the beer-commercial route of aiming for Man Humor (TM). I still remember the Real American Heroes commercials for Bud Light, before they decided to go PC after 9/11 and start calling it Real Men of Genius. The thing is, Man Humor ™ by definition is ironic and self-deprecating. This is the legacy left by the likes of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and Barney Stinson.

The problem for Old Spice is, their campaign peaked on the first try, with Isaiah Mustafah’s chiseled features and eminently meme-worthy lines (“The tickets are now diamonds”). And the point is, despite claiming strict adherence to The Bro Code, I don’t claim to be a better human being just because I refuse to comparison shop or cry (except when watching Field of Dreams or ET). I’m still a 37yo married father of three (nearly four), who’s 30 pounds overweight, plays board games and thinks TRON: Legacy and Scott Pilgrim were two of the best movies of 2010 (none of this Social Network or King’s Speech nonsense); there’s not enough Bro Code in the universe to make that pretty.

The point of Old Spice Guy and Barney Stinson are that they are unattainable fictions; in aspiring to them, we embrace our own un-chiseledness and un-awesomeness. We want to believe we are Barney, but know in our hearts that, at best, we are Marshall, and at worst, Mexican Wrestler Ted. We think we’re the only ones in the office who see the absurdity of it all, like Jim or Pam, but in the depths of our subconscious, we embrace our inner Dwight or Kevin.

Man Humor is tongue-in-cheek. It should not be the subject of controversy due to minor political incorrectness. There are much greater offenses in life than a commercial where a Bro puts some putrid body spray on and immediately has his clothes torn to shreds by 15 rabid Hot Chicks.

The Schaef on January 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Oh and by the way (and this is my opinion), healthy men and women smell much better without artificial scent. The natural odor of warm skin, mmmmm, I love the scent of life. The exception: I do love the lingering scent of some shampoos in a person’s hair. But skin/body? The natural hormones and pheromones are much more intoxicating.

RushBaby on January 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

The natural hormones and pheromones are much more intoxicating.

RushBaby on January 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Eh, some people smell and at least need deodorant, especially the ones who drink a lot of coffee and sweat all day.

Esthier on January 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

The natural hormones and pheromones are much more intoxicating.

RushBaby on January 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I don’t necessarily prefer someone’s musk over some subtle form of odor enhancement. The part where I have a problem is where women deign to smell like a fruit basket and men like some kind of mint julep that’s 180 proof.

The Schaef on January 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM

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