Old Spice Feud Draws to a Close

By Erik Oster 

Back in August, W+K Portland launched its “Make a Smellmitment” campaign for Old Spice, finally putting Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa together in the same ad, squaring off representing fragrances Bearglove and Timber with  “And So It Begins.” Since then, the campaign has seen a slew of ads pitting the two pitchmen against each other in ridiculous showdowns such as “Interruption,” “Checkmate” and “Windsurfing.” Now the longstanding feud is drawing to a close with the 60-second spot “Truce.”

Unsurprisingly, “Truce” sees Crews and Mustafa making amends. It opens on Mustafa at the piano, with Crews over his shoulder, saying, “This feud has gotten a little out of hand,” with Crews adding, “When you think about it, all the scents are great.” The remainder of the spot unfolds as a friendship montage, complete with a song describing the onscreen action gag and a few false endings. Like the campaign as a whole, the effort is entertaining but ultimately fails to live up to its potential. The grand finale isn’t limited to “Truce,” however. “Truce” will make its broadcast debut tonight during SportsCenter, but that program will also feature a takeover from Old Spice, with Crews and Mustafa behind the anchor desk for a series of Old Spice segments (see below for several examples).

“After successfully launching the ‘Make a Smellmitment’ campaign, and stoking the fires of competition throughout the NFL season, we knew that a single spot premiere for our finale wouldn’t be enough,” Old Spice spokeswoman Kate DiCarlo told Adweek. This takeover is particularly exciting given the true integration between the brands,” said DiCarlo. “Though rare, SportsCenter has been taken over by advertisers before, and the set has been used in very limited capacity, but this is the first time in ESPN’s history that a full takeover has been customized in this way.” 

So what’s next for W+K Portland and Old Spice? Although the portion pitting Crews against Mustafa has concluded, the  agency will extend the “Make a Smellmitment” campaign with, in DiCarlo’s words, “ridiculous football inventions introduced by the NFL’s top players​, including Clay Matthews, Vernon Davis, ​Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Antonio Brown and more on the players’ social media channels and Old Spice’s Tumblr page.”