Reviewer: Louella Rebello

Executive creative director at DDB Mudra (West), Louella Rebello has over 14 years of work experience. She has worked for agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Triton communications, Bates CHI&Partners and Pressman Advertising and Marketing.

CAMPAIGN

Procter and Gamble’s Old Spice deodorant campaign by Wieden + Kennedy opens with model-actor Milind Soman sitting bare chested on a throne in his “humble" palace, sharing his thoughts about what constitutes “manhood". He speaks about what a man must do to be perceived as “manly"—like securing bravery awards or polo trophies. He then reveals that a man only needs Old Spice to be “manly". Tag line: Smell Mantastic. The commercial has two more versions.

Your first thoughts on the campaign?

The bar is so high with the international work that it is a case of big boots to fill. It is an engaging ad. Milind is an excellent choice, and the ad has its moments. But the script could have been crafted better. The other two ads are crafted way better.

Old Spice is a vintage brand, so how does one creatively make it relevant in today’s time and date?

It’s tough, as Old Spice has been out of consideration here for so long now. It makes sense to echo the fantastic tone that Old Spice has in its advertising globally and has worked wonders for the brand. This ad is a valiant attempt, though I much prefer the other two ads in this campaign.

Is the category of male grooming over-emphasizing the idea of masculinity?

It’s an ad for male deodorant. We aren’t selling heart stents here. Why does a man wear deodorant? To impress his pet? Success with the ladies is the agenda, right? So why not take that to some ridiculous level and while you are at it, throw in biceps, chest hair and helicopters too? It’s all part of the wonderfully over-the-top tone of the ad. I liked the silly and confident man chain around Milind’s neck.

Soman is in a TV commercial after ages. Any thoughts on what the model/actor represents even now?

He’s hot and he knows it. He can carry off that outrageously confident tone like a charm. It’s a great choice.

What would you have done differently?

I would have gone at the script a bit more, just the writing, as the ad is interesting. It’s rather radical for India and the little touches like the helicopter, the camera zooming on Milind’s chest make you smile. They’ve nailed the script down pretty well in the other two, so no reason why this one couldn’t have crackled.

Any other campaign in this category that is done well?

All those great commercials for Old Spice done internationally—The “Smell like a Man" series—is fantastic stuff.

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