Ad of the Day: Old Spice

Having done weepy, P&G and W+K go for the gold in Olympic comedy

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Procter & Gamble and Wieden + Kennedy already crafted the most successfully emotional commercial of this summer's Olympic Games. Now, it's time to bring the funny.

For that, the packaged-goods marketer turns to Old Spice, the most reliably comic brand in its stable. The new spot, not surprisingly, takes an absurd view of sport—with a skinny hero, urged on by an inspirational self-help cassette tape, who comes up with an impressive new swimming style, wins every medal in the world, solves the planet's problems, and dies a hero, his legacy ensured by a line of beard-growing table crackers.

The ad, which pushes the Champion line of Old Spice personal-care products, continues the "Believe in Your Smellf" positioning, introduced in April. And it's a nice, goofy departure from most Olympics ads, which tend to be exceedingly serious, tear-jerking and sometimes painfully meaningful.

P&G and W+K are having quite the Olympic season. Their "Best Job" spot—a corporate image commercial for P&G itself, part of the "Thank you, Mom" campaign—is, by several measures, the most successful Olympic spot of the year. It leads Unruly Media's list of most-shared Olympic spots, and also topped Ace Metrix's list of the most effective Olympic spots. This Old Spice spot will soon join the most-shared list, likely not far from the top.

Client: Old Spice

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors – Jason Bagley, Craig Allen
Copywriter – Jason Kreher
Art Director – Max Stinson
Producer – Jeff Selis
Account Team – Michael Dalton, Diana Gonzalez, Yaya Zhang
Executive Creative Directors – Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman
Agency Executive Producer – Ben Grylewicz

Production Company – Biscuit Filmworks
Director – Tim Godsall
Executive Producer – Holly Vega
Line Producer – Rick Jarjoura

Editorial Company – Arcade Edit
Editor – Geoff Hounsell
Post Producer – Ali Reed

VFX Company – The Mission Studio
VFX Supervisor – Rob Trent
VFX Producer – Diana Cheng

Music+Sound Company – Tonefarmer
Producer – Tiffany Senft

Mix Company – Lime
Mixer – Joel Waters
Producer – Jessica Locke


@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.