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Playing with Terry Crews' muscles

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Playing with Terry Crews' Muscles: an Old Spice ad
Playing with Terry Crews' Muscles: an Old Spice ad

Old Spice's new Muscle Music video advertisement went viral as former NFL star Terry Crews showed more than 3.4 million viewers how to jam out by simply flexing his muscles.

In the one minute and 16 second ad, Crews, hooked up to a series of electrodes, creates his own “music” mix by contracting his biceps, pecs, quads, and other muscles, which are wired to a slew of strange instruments ranging from a giant screaming head molded to look like Crews' head, to flaming saxophones. Crews then invites viewers, or rather yells at them, to produce their own songs by using their keyboard keys to flex his insanely broad muscles. And users better play along too, or else they are condemned to feel Crews' wrath and hear him shout, “Come on, Dummy! I don't have all day!” or “Play the music, or get out!”

The video, created by Wieden and Kennedy and hosted on Vimeo, is part of Old Spice's Smell is Power campaign. “With great POWER, comes great drum solos,” reads Crews' Vimeo profile.

The interactive aspect of the ad is very enticing. Viewers can record and play back their own mixes, encouraging them to explore and engage with the brand. However, I truly didn't understand the ad's overall message. Is it that if you get buff and yell a lot you can become a YouTube sensation?

Maybe that's exactly it. Maybe Old Spice doesn't want me to fully understand the ad because I'm not its target audience. Perhaps this video signifies a switch in Old Spice's target consumer. Gone are the days of women buying Old Spice in hopes that one day their special guy would develop abs like Isaiah Mustafa. Old Spice says no more. It's digging deep into its macho, powerful, and very loud inner manliness to attract men so they'll buy Old Spice for themselves. I mean, the ad incorporates football, loud noises, music, muscles, and a keyboard game. How much more stereotypically manly can it get?

Old Spice is known for creating comedic ads; yet, with this one, I find myself struggling to laugh along. Although I applaud the interactive feature and strong outreach, I'd have to say this is not their best effort.


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