Old Spice’s Legendary Man Is Back, and Now He Can Talk to Gorillas

But some things get lost in translation

Axel Kiener plays the Legendary Man, whose impressive exploits don't always end well.
Headshot of Tim Nudd

Old Spice sneakily launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” the weekend of the Super Bowl in 2010—but not actually on the Super Bowl, despite everyone’s belief to the contrary today.

Now, the brand is reprising that strategy by bringing back its Legendary Man—star of last year’s amusing, award-winning “Rocket Car” and “Whale” spots—for a new online campaign to give young men something to laugh at if the Super Bowl spots are underwhelming.

The campaign—rolling out online today, and breaking on TV on Super Bowl Sunday—includes a 60-second spot called Jungle Hero, in which the Legendary Man, played by Axel Kiener, eclipsesDian Fossey in the area of human-simian relations by learning to communicate with gorillas. Though things don’t go entirely as planned.

The work is from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. The tagline is, “Don’t Smell Yourself Short.”

During the Super Bowl, Old Spice’s “core demographic of young men will be multiscreening with their eyes glued to the TV screen and their smartphones,” a rep for the brand tells Adweek. “It’s also why this year Old Spice is focused on YouTube and timing its new creative to land right before the Super Bowl.”

See some shorter executions from the campaign here:

Client: Old Spice
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

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