Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: The bar for deodorant ads has gotten really, really high over the last few years.
Don't look at me. I didn't decide this was the category that needed really absurd comedy creative. But Procter & Gamble's Old Spice has proven remarkably game throughout multiple campaigns from Wieden + Kennedy, and its directors—in this case, Steve Rogers of Biscuit Filmworks—have been correspondingly willing to let their freak flags fly.
Old Spice just released four new 15-second spots for the NFL season. First off, these are really funny ads. "Snow Globe" may be my favorite, but "Absent" made me laugh really loud at my desk just now, so that's got to be worth something. It's interesting how directly these spots, done in the same style as W+K's recent Old Spice bar-soap ads, make fun of a specific kind of creative—basically everything with a choral jingle over an otherwise-silent CPG spot in the 1980s. Musically, they're all dead on.
They're kind of perfect for ad nerds, actually. Remember the Doublemint ads where everybody loaded their gum into their mouths in exactly the same ridiculous way? Right, OK. Now, see how these guys sniff the deodorant sticks in exactly the same ridiculous way no one has ever sniffed a deodorant stick (in public, at least)? That's some deep CPG ad knowledge right there, my friends. Learn from it.
That, ultimately, is what makes these ads so good—they're super-accurate pastiches of a specific kind of ad with one huge, horribly wrong difference. You may not know all the little ins and outs of the parodies—I'm fairly sure I'm missing several—but we've all seen somebody transported to a beach by the taste of his beer/smell of her laundry detergent/experience of sucking Cheeto dust off his thumb. Yet for some reason, lizards are never eating that guy's legs, as in the "Lizards" spot, although Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos will probably never catch another forward pass now. (The other guy in the ads is New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo.)
Really, if you think about the number of inexplicable beachside teleportations that go totally well, this is just the law of averages finally working itself out.
Client: Old Spice
Spots: Snow Globe :15 | Lizards :15 | Absent :15 | Coach :15
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Jason Bagley | Craig Allen
Copywriter: Nathaniel Lawlor
Art Director: Croix Gagnon
Producer: Lindsay Reed
Producer: Jennifer Fiske
Account Team: Liam Doherty | Nick Pirtle
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples | Susan Hoffman
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Steve Rogers
Executive Producers: Shawn Lacy | Holly Vega
Line Producer: Jay Veal
Director of Photography: Ben Seresin
Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Adam Pertofsky
Asst. Editor: Marjorie Sacks
Post Producer: Julia Batter
VFX Company: The Mill
Head of Production: Arielle Davis
Producer: Christina Thompson
Coordinator: Ben Sposato
Creative Director: John Leonti
Shoot Supervisor: John Lenoti | Narbeh Mardirossian
Visual Effects Supervisor | Lead Flame Artist: Tim Davies
3D Lead: Lu Meng-Yang
2D Artists: Ben Smith, Narbeh Mardirossian, Adam Lambert
3D Artists: James Ma, Thomas Briggs, Mike Di Nocco, Jason Jasnsky, Brian Yu
Matte Painter: Daniel Thron
Music: Libman Music
Composer | Arranger: Paul Libman
Record | Mix: Avatar Studios
Engineer: Jay Messina
SFX Studio: Lime Studios
Sound Designer: Loren Silber
Color Transfer: Company3
Artist: Sean Coleman
Producer: Matt Moran