Category Archives: Old Spice

A Hard Act To Follow

The follow-up is hard. Ask The Stone Roses. Their eponymous first lp released in 1989 was hailed by critics as an instant classic. It was a major force in the Madchester music scene that engulfed the U.K. and even made a splash in the U.S. in the early 90’s. So when they got ready to release their second record nearly five years later, anticipation was high. And the pressure was on. When it finally came out, it was almost universally panned by critics and ignored by the public. You could say they were asking for it by calling the record Second Coming. The band broke up two years later and all the promise was gone.

Following up great creative execution is hard, too. In a world where you’re only as good as your last whatever (TV spot, blog post, SXSW panel discussion), there is immense pressure to replicate the success of the last effort. And how do you do that? Change as little as possible and hope there’s still interest? Go in a completely different direction and risk alienation? Or the dreaded “c” word – compromise. What’s a top creative agency to do? Continue reading



Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Old Spice

Old Spice ad: Damn near perfect

I’ve worked on television commercials since the 80s, so I’m a tough audience. But I can say with near certainty that most of the commercials that make it to TV are just not very good. There are a million reasons why. Some legitimate (budget, timing, etc.) and some not (poor writing, bad execution, etc.).  But once in a while a spot comes along that just does everything right. The Old Spice commercial “I’m on a Horse” is one of those, for me at least. Here are five reasons why this one does it right:

1. Excellent execution. This is just done very well. The writing is crisp and funny, with just the right balance of  silly and deadpan delivery. The talent, Isaiah Mustafa is just wonderful. The right look, excellent delivery and the perfect presence to pull off the comedy of the writing and communicate its message. It’s engaging for the full thirty seconds, but has a wonderfully unpredictable and memorable payoff at the end. But most of all, they make a very difficult set of logistical challenges look simultaneously easy and fascinating. Continue reading


Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Old Spice, TV Commercials