HenkinSchultz Ad of the Week: Oldipus Complex Skip to main content
Like many red-blooded Americans, I spent my Sunday afternoon watching Andy Dalton certify himself as the best worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Amidst the bevy of moments where Dalton did what Dalton does (interceptions, fumbles, red hair) – and Philip River’s timeless bolo tie – I tuned out, instead opting to focus on a particularly intense QuizUp match up I was engaged in (untouchable in Logos, btw.) Despite my typically laser-like focus on such stimulating ventures, my eyes and brain were torn away from my iPhone screen by a delicate, slightly off-pitch voice angelically humming a song in my ear. I was by no means prepared for the events that would follow: Old Spice’s “Mom Song.” The spot begins with a mother lamenting through song her sadness as she watches her son evolve from a boy into a man, thanks in large part to the Old Spice scent that now emanates from his body. From there things take a dive into the truly bizarre, with one mom dressing up like a janitor, another arising from the beach like a George Romero-zombie and, my personal favorite, slithering out from underneath a couch cushion, as their newly-crowned Casanovas cozy up next to their ladies. The spot is so different, so unique, that I’m not sure I even have my own words for it. I think Raoul Duke said it best when describing Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: “too weird to live, and too rare to die.” What I liked about the spot more than anything was that it was different. Not “different” in that it was wacky for the sake of being wacky, but in that it was truly unlike any other commercial I have ever seen. It should come as no surprise given Wieden + Kennedy’s track record with Old Spice throughout the years, but I can’t think of another brand that has had this many hits in succession like this pairing has. From The Man Your Man Could Smell Like to the Eric Wareheim-directed Terry Crews campaign to Ray Lewis literally riding on the back of a Raven, Old Spice has time and time again put out advertising that connects and sticks with the sacred young male demographic. More impressively than that, where many brands ride a particular campaign to the point of exhaustion, Old Spice has shown no fear in continually mixing up what they are doing. They are true trailblazers in every sense of the word. While the commercial may be too weird for some (most), I have decided to award it with the illustrious ranking of 5 golden Kirkey’s (inside joke – those are still cool, right?) Some remember the Titans, others the Alamo. I, however, will remember the Mom Song. Side note: The true focus of this campaign is to promote awareness of one of the largest epidemics of the body spray era – overspraying. Anyone who spent time in a post-gym class locker room in high school knows exactly what I’m talking about there. Even if nothing else is accomplished with the spot, addressing this issue alone makes it far and away an overwhelming victory for the brand.