"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Old Spice Goes Stalker Mom

As we watched the NFL playoffs over the weekend, my wife and I were confronted – no, more like mugged – by the new Old Spice commercial “Smellcome to Manhood.”

Old spice, smellcome to manhood

Seriously, “Smellcome to Manhood?”

Come on, now. I’m flashing back to when my kids were very young, and they were developing their sense of humor: “It’s a joke, dad, get it??” Um, yes, “Smellcome to Manhood,” … I’m trying to get it.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of watching this, you’re really missing “something” … something twisted, something bizarre, and something that’s possibly the creepiest television commercial ever.

Apparently, marketing execs for Old Spice feel there are countless minion-mamas out there just “helicopter” parenting their boys-to-men all the way through to adulthood. Here are a few stills from the commercial:

“Beaches” isn’t just a movie.

Face it, moms out there – you’re all secretly wanting to pop up out of the sand on your son – and his date- at the beach, right??

Old spice, smellcome to manhood, mom on beach

Sideshow Mom

I’ve seen this SO many times: Moms dangling from the back of their sons bumpers, and of course, sliding along in a laundry basket. This is the only way you can show you absolutely can’t let go of your son … or apparently his laundry.

Old spice, smellcome to manhood, mom on car

Mom – the slithering serpent.

… and why not. Check out the pic of Old Spice Boy’s mom, squirming out of the couch like a snake. What you don’t get to see in this still shot is dear ol’ mom sliding across the floor and then getting all up onto her loveseat. The ad team must have been on serious hallucinogens when they come up with that idea. It pegs about a 15 on a one to ten scale “Crazy Meter.”

Old spice, smellcome to manhood, mom in couch

Chucky, Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lector, and now Creepy Janitor-Mom.

What. The. OM Me!?!? Are you kidding me?

In a grotesque turn, this strange looking man below, wheels around, and BAM! … mom face appears – able to stalk her son, incognito. WOW. Marketing genius. Is it too late to change my career? I think I can do this marketing thing.

Old spice, creepy janitor mom

It’s interesting: Frequently you have a split, with some people loving, and others hating, a commercial. I’m not so sure that’s the case with this one.

Either way, after all this Old Spice freakishness, I have a new appreciation for the old Aqua Velva after-shave commercials. Retro, anyone?

*****

If you haven’t seen the commercial, here’s the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRmdeSFiuP4

What do you think? Marketing masterpiece, or massive failure?

Comments

  1. Such a serious FAIL! I have not been able to get it out of my mind. You did it justice, though MJ! Only you could make it funny. “Sideshow Mom” – HA!

  2. Truly wierd!

  3. I have only seen stills and I am not interested in seeing the actual commercial. Yuck!

  4. Ditto what @kricket says. Don’t think I need to see the actual commercial, especially after your treatment of it, MJ. Creepy, deluxe! (Although I still have a soft spot in my heart for the “swandive!” commercials.)

    • I’m with you, Dana. I have a future post in me about “unseeing” what you can’t unsee. And I’m sure you only like the Swandive commercial for the words, right?? ;)

  5. That wasn’t an ad, that was just wrong!

  6. About two paragraphs in, I had to go to YouTube to find it (should have read the whole article).

    Yeah, creepy is one way to describe it, and if I were a guy who wore Old Spice, I’d stop buying it…just because of that commercial. Of course I find a lot of commercials offensive. I’d never buy Geico insurance because theirs are some of the most obnoxious ones around. Thanks to those, Aflac ads almost give me a warm, fuzzy feeling now.

    But this one…wow. Next well be seeing movies of the week featuring mothers who murder the girlfriends who love their Old Spice loving sons.

    Give me SUV commercials with campers who hear Dueling Banjos as they’re sitting around the campfire at night. Or the ad I only saw once for a cola. During a storm that knocks the power out, this guy is stumbling around in the dark, grabs his soda from the fridge…and thinks he grabbed a box of animal crackers. In the dark you see him put the box to his lips an toss it back…then he says, “Aww bummer. Baking soda.” Best commercial ever…and I only saw it once. :)

    • Shoot, KK, Lifetime Movies reads this blog. Now they’re gonna make that movie based on your idea. :)

      It’s kind of funny: You have people who like or hate Flo on those Progressive commercials, but this Old Spice commercial is WAY off the charts.

      I do like humor, and witty or punny ones are my faves. Black humor is not really my cup of tea. Quirky and slightly, repeat, slightly, off-beat is even good sometimes. Seriously, these dudes were on something strong.

      I tried to look up your commercial reference above, but couldn’t find it.

  7. Irritating as can be.

  8. I’d file that ad should be filed under ultra creepy. Your description was spot on. I went to the link. The ad reminded me of a children’s book, “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch. The mom, who I think of as a stalker mom – thru the various stages of her son’s life – would open his door at night, crawl across the floor and check to see if he was sleeping. If so, then she’d pick him up, rock him and sing him a lullaby. She even did this when he was grown and living across town.

    • It’s very in-your-face, for sure. Interestingly, I hadn’t seen LYF since we read it to our kids. You know, I never really looked at the illustration. Had to google it and check it out again. didn’t realize it was so controversial. Comments were extremely split between those who took it at face value about a mother’s love being an always kind of thing vs those who saw it as more stalker-ish. I can see both points after really looking at it.

  9. Truly horrible! I haven’t seen it (don’t live in America), but can’t begin to imagine how suggesting that mothers are psychos sells cologne?

    • Agree 100%, Claire. What mother would want to be portrayed that way? Now I like a sarcastic, snarky ad as much as the next guy, but this one was way over the top.

  10. By far one of the creepiest commercials ever…but I think the ad team accomplished what they wanted because we’re all talking (and laughing) about it! :-)

    • That’s a great point. We are talking about it. However, do you think a young dude will buy Old Spice after looking at the commercial? I’m thinking not. But it did give me something to blog about. :)

  11. I think the commercial was worth it just so you could write this funny blog about it!

  12. I saw this commercial, too, and my first thought was, “Creepy.” As much as I love my teenage sons, I don’t see this behavior coming from me. Empty nest? How about ‘New found freedom.” ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my site. I appreciate it!

    • It was nice having our kids at home while they were there, but it’s also been good having the house to ourselves. There probably are very few moms as depicted in the commercial.

      And thank you for stopping by my site, as well! :)

  13. I think this is one of the reasons I do not watch much TV. Numerous are the times FD and I look at each other with that WTCrap look on our faces.

    • Well, my Oklahoma/Husker friend, MLB and I do watch our share of tv, and we have had that look on our faces a time or two. I for one am glad you do more storytelling than watching tv. :)

  14. I was listening to one of my Sirius stations and the dj’s were talking about this commercial. I had to look and yeah, it’s very creepy. Hah! Eek! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you have a great Saturday!

  15. OMG!OMG!OMG!

    MMMMMMMM JAAAAAAY!

    THANKYOU!THANKYOU!THANKYOU!

    I’M NOT REPLYING TO YOUR COMMENT ON MY OWN BLOG BECAUSE I DON’T WANT EVERYONE THERE TO KNOW WHAT A HUMONGOUS, PSYCHEDELIC, CRRRRRUNCHY, THICKLY SUGAR COATED FRUIT LOOP I AM! ….. BUT I’M ABSOLUTELY COOL WITH YOUR READERS THINKING NOT-NICE THINGS ABOUT YOU FOR HAVING E-FRIENDS LIKE ME! :-)

    >May God be with her.
    - HE IS! AND GOD’S PEEPS ON EARTH (LIKE YOU) HAVE ALL MADE FOR A COMPLICATION FREE RECOVERY THUS FAR.

    ONE MORE THING – I NEVER TOOK YOU OFF MY rss LIST! HAVE BEEN STALKING, INTENDING TO COMMENT SINCE YOU GOT BACK WITH NEWS ABOUT YOUR DAD AND YEAH, ALL MY INTENTIONS GLEAM RESPLENDENTLY ON THAT LONG, WINDING ROAD TO HELL.

    WHY AM I YELLING? NO! NOT YELLING! JUST VERY HAPPY TO HEAR FROM YOU!

    BEST TO YOU, YLB, THE KIDS(!) AND DUKE!

    KATE!

    • Ha ha, Kate, I am so happy to see you back again. Of course, I’ve been away myself for some time as well. I didn’t realize you were such an overly exaggerated fruit loop – that’s quite a description, my friend.

      So glad the recovery is going smoothly. Great news.

      Thank you so much for at least stalking. As you know, comments are always welcomed and appreciated, but I completely understand having gone through a period of almost a year myself, without any interaction. No worries about a “long, winding road to hell.” That is too funny.

      You can yell any time – it means you’re back and commenting!!

      MLB, Duke, and fhe rest of the family are all well. Thanks for not being a stranger. :)

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