Isaiah Mustafa became an advertising icon for his “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Old Spice ads and, as an icon, he is now making a plea to creatives in multiple countries to enter their work into the AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) Awards. Mustafa makes that plea in his own confidently suave way in nine languages—and one made up tongue—showing off some fine linguistic talents.
Mustafa opens the piece by talking about how winners at the AICP Awards will join the film archives of The Museum of Modern Art, adding, “I’m in there six times.” Mustafa then points out he’s not just talking to the English-speaking countries as he goes seamlessly into Spanish, asking ad professionals in Spanish-speaking countries to consider entering.
With the kind of delivery he made famous in the Old Spice ads, Mustafa addresses the audience in French, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Swedish. As subtitles provide translation, he says to the French, “You make awesome commercials, want to be in a museum?”
The pitch then gets a bit strange, as Mustafa speaks in a garbled tongue, which is translated: “To the space people who’ll one day take over our planet and are watching thousands of years in the future, I’m sorry … Entries for the 2022 AICP Awards are now closed.”
Created by San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman, produced by Arts & Sciences and directed by Adam Brodie, the global call of entry used Mustafa’s talents because he is well recognized in the ad world.
“Everyone in the world knows who Isaiah is,” said Eric Kallman, Erich & Kallman’s chief creative officer in a statement. “And now he’s speaking to me in my language. And that’s what we think will make this film something people will relate to and want to share.”
The AICP Awards suite includes: The AICP Post Awards, The AICP Show: The Art and Technique of the Commercial and the AICP Next Awards. It is chaired this year by Yvette Cobarrubias, partner/managing director of Cosmo Street; Mal Ward, managing director of Arts & Sciences; and Scott Donaton, senior vice president and head of marketing for Hulu.
“We opened all categories in the AICP Show, AICP Next Awards and AICP Post Awards to work from all markets in response to the increased globalization of the industry,” explained AICP president and CEO Matt Miller in a statement. “We also wanted to accommodate requests from production companies and agencies all over the world who wanted to have their work considered for recognition, alongside the best work originating in the U.S. As our international footprint has expanded, this film captures that scope while also reflecting the unique role our awards play in honoring excellence in both craft and creativity in this global community.”