Say hello to Stirling Gravitas, the most in-control man in the world.
This dapper, mustachioed dude "of a certain age" tames lions by telling them to "Stay!" and smashes wooden planks with the power of his mind. For relaxation, he juggles chainsaws, skeet shoots with a cannon and parallel parks sports cars with a satisfying screech of tortured treads, like a stunt driver in a '70s cop show.
Would such a man let urine leakage put a damper on his lifestyle? No. Frickin. Way. Thanks to Tena Men's incontinence pads, our hero stays confident, cool and in control.
AMV BBDO rocks the concept in a pair of fast-moving British spots directed by Jeff Low of Biscuit Filmworks. "Urinary issues among men are much more common than most people know," says Tena global brand director Meta Redstedt. "We want to make men aware of how common this is, and that there are products to deal with it."
Some have compared the approach to Isaiah Mustafa's ads for Old Spice and, naturally, the long-running "Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign for Dos Equis. Some detect a hint of Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy in the mix, too. Such work probably served as an inspiration, but Stirling's quirky act never feels like a ripoff. This guy's his own man.
Plus, he's got a tougher mission, using character-driven comedy to discuss a delicate topic in an appealing way (unlike typical ads in the category, which often go the dull, informational route, or stoop to shaming). It would be easy for this campaign to overplay its hand (a 17 of spades—blackjack!) and devolve into utter foolishness. Points for maintaining control throughout and using slick, subversive schtick to support a serious message of personal empowerment.
You can dive into Stirling's Twitter feed for more delightfully dry humor.
Client: Tena Men
Agency: AMV BBDO
Creative Directors: Toby Allen, Jim Hilson
Copywriter: Prabs Wignarajah
Art Director: Jeremy Tribe
Head of Production: Kate Taylor
Agency Producer: Polly Lowles
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Jeff Low
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
Producer: Toby Courlander
Media Partner: Be On
Agency Planners: Pippa Morris, Tom White
Agency Account: Sarah Douglas, Alex Bird, Laura Etherington
Media Planner: Guy Abrahams
Media Agency: Zenith Optimedia
Postproduction Company: The Mill
Audio Postproduction: Aaron Reynolds, Wave Studios