Why The Old Spice Guy Should Have Quit While He Was Ahead

The Old Spice guy is back, but his return has been less than triumphant. Maybe Old Spice should have left well enough alone and retired the Old Spice guy while he was ahead.

Just six months ago, Old Spice was sitting on top of the advertising world. Their Man Your Man Could Smell Like response campaign had just come to a close and was officially the most successful online video campaign of all time, even more popular than Obama was at his peak, with over 40 million views overall. And then, as quickly as the Old Spice guy appeared he vanished from the web. Now the Old Spice guy is back, but his return has been less than triumphant. Maybe Old Spice should have left well enough alone and retired the Old Spice guy while he was ahead.

When the Old Spice guy came back at the end of January with a new video announcing his return I have to admit I was ecstatic. I thought that last year’s Old Spice campaign, which kicked off with a Super Bowl commercial and just kept getting better and better, was one of the best things ever and I couldn’t wait to see what Old Spice was going to do next. Turns out that the only way they probably would have been able to one-up their response campaign would be to have Isaiah Mustafa literally fly around in a helicopter, tossing Old Spice through his fans’ windows with personalized notes attached. Unfortunately, they didn’t go this route.