Back in April, I blogged about a funny Old Spice commercial that begins with a cocky man with a towel around his waist in a steamy bathroom. Then I analyzed it for kicks to see what kinds of gender stereotypes they were poking fun of. (If you missed it, read the post here, and check out the short clip, too.)
To my delight, I had the pleasure of viewing a second hilarious Old Spice commercial! Naturally, I had to share it with you all, and because I have some salsa kicking around in my feminist veins, I’m going to analyze the message behind the humour.
Of course it begins with a buff dude who’s well groomed and apparently very polite. (He speaks directly to his target audience – “Hello, ladies! How are you? Fantastic!”)
And just like in the previous Old Spice commercial, the ego has landed! “Does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me? Yes.” He’s suggesting that he epitomizes the masculine ideal, and that even if your husband, boyfriend, significant other, fuck friend, or whomever can’t look like the stereotypical ‘perfect man’, the least he can do is smell like one. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness, right?
The bare-chested He-Man vocalizes the question you might ask yourself silently: “Should he use Old Spice body wash? I don’t know.”
Homer Simpson: The stereotypical male slob
Then he makes the answer seem like a total no-brainer: “Do you like the smell of adventure? Do you want a man who can bake you a gourmet cake in the dream kitchen he builds you with his own hands? Of course you do!”
No, I’d like everything to be a snooze. And I’d prefer a man who’d rather eat stale cake at a crummy pub where the lights are so dim, you can’t see the cockroaches scurrying to the kitchen. That’s hella sexy! (Obviously not.)
I love how a sense of adventure is portrayed by him walking on a rolling log on the water! (This imagery reminded me immediately of the Log Driver’s Waltz that was featured on a Canadian kids’ show I used to watch. And anytime I get to reference some ridiculous old song from my childhood is pretty damn cool.)
What’s this? After Mr. Sexy Stallion finishes with the rolling log, the sky is falling! No, it’s just a large (and yummy-looking) cake that says “You’re Beautiful” (there, there, women’s fragile self-esteem). It lands right into his studly arms as he miraculously walks across the water like Jesus while using a saw to slice a table. He makes it look like it ain’t no thang but a chicken wang. That’s my kind of man – a multi-tasker!
And ohhhh, a dream kitchen? No way! It’s what women have always wanted…to be stuck inside the home baking or cooking for our man. (Sarcasm drips like honey now.) Okay, seriously, I dig a man who works well with his hands. It shows me that he’s resourceful and perhaps physically fit. And a man who enjoys baking instead of just barbecuing meat all summer? Damn, he’s a catch if only because he defies gender stereotypes!
Then when you think the Old Spice commercial can’t get any more ridiculous, it does! “Swan dive into the best night of your life!” He says while jumping off the edge of a waterfall and ending up in a hot tub.
“So, ladies, does your man smell like an Old Spice Man? You tell me.” As the arrogant bastard smirks, the four walls of the wooden hot tub fall down and reveal a sexy motorcycle. He’s conveniently perched on top and posing in classic Modeling-101 fashion.
Ads like this not only keep me entertained, but also make me appreciate how marketing teams can seamlessly mix a bunch of random, overtly-stereotypical shit together yet make it work. And instead of using ‘hidden messages’ to brainwash us, they’ve brought full-blown gender stereotypes to the forefront so that as viewers, we become more conscious of how silly our society can be.