Old Spice, “Fiji”

Do you need a vacation from your scent vacation? Wieden + Kennedy has taken the Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa, around the world—from the beaches to the mountaintops—since he returned (at first simply to say he was returning) at the end of January. Of late, he’s been pitching the Procter & Gamble brand’s geographically themed antiperspirants Cyprus, Fiji, Denali, Matterhorn and Komodo—thus, the globe-trotting theme in the ads. The first 30-second spot in the new series, released in early February (initially to a single superfan), encompassed all of those products, and showed Mustafa floating from one locale to the next, pausing only to sensuously strum a mountain-goat harp. Since then, we’ve been treated to 17-second quick hits for individual products—first Komodo, and now Fiji. The ads do continue to amuse—the writing is still snappy, and the visuals are inventive and offbeat, particularly in the Fiji ad, where Mustafa rises from the sand like a pleasantly scented, musical Lazarus. Nevertheless, there’s something undeniably off about the new spots. The character isn’t evolving this year so much as returning to his old schtick, which itself seems less potent, perhaps because it’s now familiar—all of which is a bit of a letdown after the wonderful real-time personalized response videos last July. In short, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like comes off these days as The Man Your Man Smelled Like Last Year. We’ll surely get a few more spots in this series, but after that, it might be wise to bury Isaiah in the Fiji sand for good. -Tim Nudd