Why It's Okay To Like The Zany Old Spice Game


In honor of the majestic accomplishment that is "Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World,” I typed up a few hundred words on why it's okay to enjoy something like that, even though it's nothing more than very clever advertising.

The short answer? It's okay to like stuff that's clever.

The Old Spice commercials, going back to the Bruce Campbell campaign from five or so years ago, heralded an unprecedented weirdening (my word! Don’t use it!) of mainstream ad campaigns. Their ads are spare, strange and designed to be shared—a formula that lots of brands have tried to emulate and none have managed to get right. Imitations of this kind of zaniness usually fall short either because they aren’t weird enough, or lack a charismatic spokesman like Bruce/Fabio/Old Spice Guy.
(A rare exception—those creepy fucking Sprite commercials, which are way too goddamned weird.)
I love these Old Spice ads because they are the kind of thing I should fucking hate. I despise corporate pandering, because no matter how charming a company pretends to be, there’s simply nothing cool about corporations. If a marketing campaign manages to make me forget that for a moment, I tend to have an extreme backlash to it. How dare you amuse me?! How dare you make me forget the essential sinisterness of your business practices?!

You could keep reading that, or you could just go play this delightful game. Don't stop until you get to the Twinkie song. Seriously.