If you were one of the millions who watched the NFL playoffs over the weekend, you probably caught sight of the strangest TV commercial I’ve seen in a long time.
Old Spice’s “Momsong,” a David Lynchian lament from mothers of their sons growing up into men. “Smellcome to Manhood” headlined the ending of the ad, which featured mothers peering behind cut-out curtains and, in the most disturbing image, sliding from underneath a couch to another one.
I was memorized by it.
I’m not so in love with the “Smellcome to Manhood” title because it’s too clever by half. But we live in an era in which most advertising is identical, both in message, tone and structure. That’s the reason why so much advertising is a waste of time and money, and is mostly ignored.
In recent years, Old Spice has switched from being a men’s deodorant for mature men to those males in the younger set. Despite the buzz it got, the manly man campaign was a misfire as it had no appeal for men. Who wanted to be that arrogant jerk?
This one is better, although I suspect it’ll be mothers who notice the most. The empty nest feeling of losing your son to manhood has an emotional, melancholy trigger for mothers. But mothers don’t represent the main target audience.
The strategy aimed at younger males (you become men with Old Spice) is right, and also hits an emotional trigger. Old Spice just hopes they notice the spot, and I think they will.
For me, I’m just happy to see something different – and strange.