Our Favorite Ad of the Decade

Another year. Another decade. Another bunch of lists. Yawn.

As an advertising agency, our work is designed to be interesting, inviting and captivating; to appeal to the client and capture their imagination. With the increased usage of technology to promote a campaign, traditional advertising has been turned on its head. Brands need to stand out, and the best way to do that is to make a splash in the way they advertise themselves and their product (a bad product will still sell well if accompanied by an appealing message).

So…we asked our dream-team (aka our staff) to answer the following question: “What is your favorite ad from the last decade?

 

On February 4, 2010, the “Old Spice Man” completely uprooted and revolutionized not only Old Spice, but the advertising industry at large. Commonly referred to as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” or “Smell Like a Man, Man” – which is brilliant in its own right because it advertises to both women and men – the original commercial featured a fit, attractive, shirtless man talking directly into the camera (and more importantly, directly to the viewer or prospective client) with a shower running in the background. Makes sense for body wash, right? But then, somewhat magically, he is suddenly on a moving boat, before finally (and seamlessly) ending up sitting on a horse on a beach.

Bathroom → Boat → Beach…?

There is no rhyme or reason to how this happens, and it is never explained. And that disbelief, that transcending of reality, is what makes this commercial so brilliant. Old Spice was making fun of itself at the same time as it was trying to sell its own product.


It was a bold decision, and it worked. The copy was witty, the aesthetics appealing, and the antics memorable. There had never been a commercial like it before, and it became a viral sensation. Since that day, a swath of actors, athletes, celebrities, musicians, models and more have all been featured in this ad campaign. It was so influential that other brands followed suit, becoming more irreverent and eclectic in the way they market their products (ex: LiMu Emu (Liberty Mutual), Mayhem (Allstate), Doritos, Apple, and many more).

With the introduction of TiVo at the beginning of the decade and the swatch of streaming services since then, engaged live audiences have become a commodity for advertisers; a viewer can now avoid commercials entirely or fast-forward through them. The Old Spice Man made you want to rewind. And that’s why it is LMO’s choice for advertisement of the decade.   

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