W+K Portland and Old Spice ‘Smell Em Who’s Boss’

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched a new campaign for Old Spice called “Smell Em Who’s Boss” with a series of four broadcast spots.

After the conclusion of the campaign pitting Terry Crews against Isaiah Mustafa for the brand’s Bearglove and Timber with “Truce” in November and the introduction of the “Legendary Man” in January, W+K Portland cooked up a new batch of Old Spice weirdness with “Perfect Ending,” “Standoff,” “Five Year Plan” and “Innocent.”

“Standoff” and “Perfect Ending” takes a Western theme, with the former featuring a man tied to a cart filled with explosives. A villain gets ready to set off the explosives but before he can, the hero saves the town with a can of Old Spice Desperado. Then things get overly self-referential with a woman providing a voiceover saying, “And that’s how our town was freed. And I remember thinking: ‘This would make a strange deodorant commercial.'”

The 15-second “Perfect Ending” finds a character shampooing his hair while riding a bathtub horse and playing trumpet with his feet. “Innocent,” meanwhile shows a man able to convince the police that he wasn’t the suspect in question, despite an APB matching his exact description, while “Five Year Plan” sees a prospective employee turning the tables during a job interview.

The spots very much follow in the “make it as weird as possible” W+K Old Spice formula, while moving on from the characters that have been a mainstay for a brand.


Given the recent “Truce” spot it seems likely we’ve seen the last of Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa — at least for awhile. These new efforts manage to find new, unexpected ways for the brand to get its weird on, but they don’t always deliver. “Perfect Ending” might work the best of the bunch, perhaps because it doesn’t seem to even try to make sense. “Innocent” and the self-referential voiceover in “Standoff,” meanwhile feel a bit too forced.

Creative Directors: Erik Fahrenkopf | Max Stinson
Copywriter: Matt Mulvey
Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
Integrated Executive Producer: Erika Madison
Producer: Chris Capretto
Account Team: Georgina Gooley | Nick Pirtle | Michael Dalton

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Steve Ayson
President: David Zander
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer: Mark Hall
Director of Photography: Robert Elswit

Editorial Company: EXILE
Editor: 5-Year, Innocent: Kirk Baxter
Editor: Standoff Nate Gross
Assistant Editor: Zaldy Lopez

Post Producer: Toby Louie / Brittany Carson
Head of Production: Jennifer Locke
Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

VFX Company: The Mill | LA
Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Producer: Chris Harlowe
Coordinator: Rustie Burris
VFX Supervisor: James Allen
2D Lead Artist: Narbeh Mardirossian
2D Artists: Andy Dill, Alex Candlish, Jale Parsons, Don Kim, Lisa Ryan, Brad Scott, Chris Payne
3D Artist: Michael Lori
Matte Painting: Andy Wheater, Nathan McKenna

Music and Sound Design: – Five Year Plan, Standoff
Original Music: Walker
Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo
Senior Producer: Abbey Hickman
Sound Designer: Brian Emrich / Trinitite
Music and Sound Design: Innocent
Original Music: Joint
Composers: Noah Woodburn, Tim Ribner
Producer: Sarah Fink
Sound Designer: Brian Emrich / Trinitite
Music and Sound Design: Perfect Ending
Original: Music Woodwork
Track: “Sunset Scrubdown”
Composer: Philip Kay
Producers: Rachel Wood, Andy Oskwarek
Vocal Arrangement: Walker
Vocals Producer: Abbey Hickman
Sound Designer: Brian Emrich / Trinitite

Studio:Lime Studios
Engineer: 5-Year, Innocent: Rohan Young
Engineer: Standoff: Sam Casas
Assistant Engineer: 5-Year, Innocent, Perfect Ending: Ben Tomastik
Assistant Engineer: Standoff Peter Lapinski
Executive Producer Susie Boyajan

Color Transfer Company: Company 3
Artist: Sean Coleman
Color Producer: Matt Moran