When absurd advertising tropes collide
Old Spice and Wieden + Kennedy had an amusing hit in 2014 with “Momsong,” featuring mothers bemoaning, in song, how Old Spice had sprayed their boys into men.
The Procter & Gamble brand returns to the mom-son dynamic in a new campaign from W+K for the Wild Collection that pokes fun at teenage boy- and mom-targeted advertising—by parodying both in ridiculously hyperbolic fashion.
The first spot, “Beach Budz,” sets the tone, as two moms walk quietly along a beach. “I love the ocean,” says one—but suddenly, their peace and quiet is broken by a marketing stunt, as an octopus driving a speedboat roars past, pulling a bear who’s paragliding with a boom box, with “Be a cool guy with Old Spice” emblazoned on the parachutes.
“Advertising,” the mom practically spits out with dripping disdain.
“Pathetic,” says the other mom. “The things brands do to advertise to boys.”
But it turns out the moms aren’t exactly above resorting to bottom-feeding clichéd advertising themselves.
The self-referential aspect of this first spot is even more pronounced given that it features an octopus, just weeks after Old Spice and W+K based an entire high-profile online stunt around an animatronic sea creature called S.Q.U.I.D. (Both that stunt and this new spot advertise Old Spice’s latest manly scent, Krakengard.)
A second spot follows a similar path, but features a sunglasses-wearing, sky-writing, motorcycle-driving, meat-pulling dog. (This spot pushes Old Spice’s Wolfthorn line.)
The tagline on both spots is, “Moms and sons agree it practically smells itself.”
“Old Spice knows that according to ancient boy-law, if something is cool, moms can’t like it, and if moms like something, it can’t be cool,” said Janine Miletic, Old Spice brand director at P&G. “Our new Wild Collection campaign challenges everything young guys thought they knew by creating a humorous alternate dimension, where teenage-boy marketing and mom-vertising collide.”
In addition to the two :30s, there is also a :15 as well as a handful of 5-second spots, which you can see below.