With a comically crude humanoid reminiscent of something the Jawas on Tatooine might have assembled, the Old Spice “Mandroid” will be popping up in a variety of channels this summer to promote what might be the first fragrance worn by both your 80-year old grandfather AND your 12-year old son. In the first commercial, The Mandroid, a half man, half robot character topples over and nearly crushes a woman lying on the beach. In another video The Mandroid meets a woman on the dance floor but his face inconveniently falls off. Completely.
But it doesn’t matter because The Mandroid uses Old Spice products. He smells so good that a woman is willing to overlook minor details like the fact she’s talking to a hybrid creature whose face just fell off in front of her.
Old Spice has a history of producing zany, over the top commercials that often go viral, as with the renowned The Man Your Man Could Smell Like ad. Even by those standards though, the latest ads, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, may veer a bit too far into the bizarre for some peoples’ tastes.
The beach commercial will run on TV, while the nightclub spot will be shared online only. Several other Old Spice commercials are slated to come out over the next two months.
And if you find this crudely assembled humanoid, with his bad toupee and cheesy pick up lines, to be over the top in terms of grossness (the general consensus at out marketing agency Charlotte), then you’re reaction is intended.
According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, if you really want to get people to act, disgust is much more powerful than fear.
Perhaps that’s why consumers have seen a recent slew of commercials with high gross-out factors.