Saturday, October 12, 2013

Old Spice: Mantastic or Tacktastic?

Milind Soman for Old Spice's latest ad for the Mantastic campaign - Product: Deodorant 

At first look, I am surprised as to why the supermodel Milind Soman would do an ad like that.

Then I realise, on paper, this concept must have really looked great. The masculine charm of the two, that voice and the class you associate the two with - makes complete sense. What suffers, is the execution.

This concept of the Old Spice commercial has already been tried in the international markets and a success to the effect, that the ad became viral online within a few days of its release. While the agency Wieden & Kennedy bagged two honourable Cannes for it, actor Isaiah Mustafa shot to instant fame posing as that 'guy from the Old Spice TVC'. And honestly, that's so much more believable. And of course, deserving.

Old Spice: The Man your man could smell like - International campaign (2010) - Product: Bodywash

The association of Milind Soman's testosterone-pumped image is fully justified with a brand like Old Spice, specially when they are trying to talk about what really makes a man, a man. Sadly, the execution of it, in the hindi version, is hilarious in parts, stunning for some few seconds, and tacky for most part. The only part through his speech that I genuinely find funny is when the camera loses focus while he speaks and Milind calmly commands, "Focus guys, focus."

While it is very refreshing to see Milind Soman back on the small screen after long, despite the grey hair, the smile is still as disarming and that baritone, so soothing. But the words, the creatives and the execution is truly disappointing and a waste of his manliness to say the least. That script - honestly it is a little embarrassing to watch an intelligent man like him mouth such sleazy lines. I cringed almost every time I saw it.

The 'Mantastic' concept works with the international ad, purely because of the changing frames that keeps your attention (don't miss the special effects that aid smooth transition of one scene to another), and the actor's poker face that makes you wonder what is going to pop up on the screen next. The indian version stays simplistic, but sadly lacks the punch. Of course, it is one of those ads which will get noticed by one and all; because its one of those ads that you can either love or hate, but you just CAN'T, ignore. May work for some. For us, the balloon just burst.

P.S. The resemblance between Milind Soman's smile and Pierce Brosnan is uncanny. Dishy, these two. Why isn't he in a sensible bollywood movie? Oh wait, my bad. That, does not exist.

Uncanny!: The resemblance between Milind Soman & Pierce Brosnan is striking.

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