Old Spice Has a New Spokesman, and He’s Legendary in an Utterly Foolish Kind of Way

He's brave but stupid, just like you

Sweat. It's the reason men have never quite reached their full potential … until now, Old Spice's latest campaign proclaims. 

Its new line of body wash and antiperspirant comes with a new spokesman, who can't be called the brightest, but at least he seems aware of that. Created by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., two new ads offer a fresh, self-deprecating twist on the absurd bravado that has defined Old Spice's advertising since Isaiah Mustafa first rode in on his white horse almost six years ago.

This guy, though, has much better modes of transport. 

In one commercial, he crests the oceans on the back of a whale, volleying tennis balls served through its blowhole, while paparazzi snap photos. Meanwhile, a voiceover of his inner thoughts waxes philosophical on how far is too far in terms of pushing himself. 

In the second ad, he finds himself past that limit, having built a rocket car without any working knowledge of engineering. "The most valuable lesson I have ever learned is that if you fill your brains with knowledge, then there won't be any room for dreams," says the hero in what is arguably the campaign's best line. (In a self-mocking twist, it also feels a bit like a piss-take of W+K London's classic "Impossible Dream" spot for Honda.) 

The delightfully tongue-in-cheek macho idiocy is cleverly written, on-brand and appropriate to the product line, called the Hardest Working Collection. Even its tagline, "Legendary Protection for Legendary Men," can't help but evoke Barney Stinson, Neil Patrick Harris's slick—but goofy—playboy persona from How I Met Your Mother (who happens to love all things legendary.)

The work also joins a canon of other ironically suave men in advertising, which includes the extraordinary male lead in W+K Amsterdam's "Legends" campaign for Heineken, and Dos Equis's "Most Interesting Man in the World," created by Havas (formerly Euro RSCG) and the godfather of modern man-vertising.

Old Spice's Legendary Man is foolhardy, but brash and charming enough to earn his place in the lineup. Though now that Mustafa and fellow Old Spice spokesman Terry Crews have buried the hatchet on their rivalry, we can't help but wonder how the new kid on the block would fare against either of them.

CREDITS

Client: Old Spice

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Creative Directors: Jason Bagley | Craig Allen

Copywriter: Nick Morrissey

Art Director: Matt Sorrell

Additional Creative (on Whale only): Jarrod Higgins

Senior Producer: Lindsay Reed

Producer: Monica Ranes

Account Team: Liam Doherty | Michael Dalton

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff | Joe Staples

Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks/Revolver

Director: Steve Rogers

Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Executive Producer: Holly Vega

Producer: Pip Smart

DP: Mandy Walker

Production Designer: Leon Morland

Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler

Editor: Gavin Cutler

Asst. Editor: Brendan Hogan

Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

VFX Company: The Mill | LA

Executive Producer: Enca Kaul

Senior Producer: Dan Roberts

Production Coordinator: Kris Drenzek

Creative Director | Shoot Supervisor | 2D Lead Artist: Tim Davies

3D Lead Artists: Tom Graham

3D Lead Artists: Phill Mayer, Hartwell Durfor, Kenzie Chen, Yorie Kumalasari, Brett Angelillis, Mike DiNocco, Katie Yancey, Blake Guest, Jenna Kind, Monique Espinoza, Steven Olson, Milton Ramirez

2D Artists: John Price, Robert Murdock, Don Kim, Dag Ivarsoy, Jeff Langlois, Ashely Forbito, Adam Lambert, Daniel Thuresson, Tim Robbins

Art Department: Brett Lopinsky, Laurence Konishi, Kelsey Napier

Head of 3D: John Leonti

Sound Design