This new Old Spice ad cannot be ignored any longer. Besides being hilarious, ridiculous, and featuring the eye-candy that is Isaiah Mustafa, there seems to be a change in tone for the better in terms of gender. Personally, I think it's more sensitive to gender roles, but still keeping with the sensitive manly-man ideal. We know that Old Spice is going for the ridiculous— "Swan dive!"... genius— and our favorite Old Spice Man gracefully lands in a hot tub which falls apart revealing him sitting on a manly motorcycle. But anyway, check out the video and selected dialogue below. The feminist in me smells something off, but Old Spice's overpowering musk of hilarity is shining through.
"Does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me? Yes. Should he use Old Spice body wash? I don't know... "
"Do you like the smell of adventure? Do you want a man who smells like he can bake you a gourmet cake in the kitchen he built for you with his own hands? Of course you do."
Old Spice is playing with gender norms here, acknowledging that men and women seek adventure and also that (Old Spice) men can make gourmet cakes. They re-enforce gender norms by having men characterized as building a kitchen for women, who would hypothetically be the primary users of said kitchen. But it seems as if the Old Spice Man is really just a nice guy trying to make his lady(ies) happy.
"Swan dive! Into the best night of your life."
The "best night of your life" includes a hot tub by a waterfall, and, let's be honest, who wouldn't take a night in a romantic hot tub with their sexy-smelling significant other? However, the hot tub walls fall, releasing all the water and revealing the Old Spice Man's (hot) body and revealing him in different pants on a motorcycle that's actually revving to go. Old Spice is playing into the "sexy bad guy" image here for sure, and obviously we can't ignore how completely shirtless our Old Spice Man is. Are we objectifying him? Yes. Is it okay? I don't know... Swan dive!
That "swan dive" seems to be the new great escape from awkward questions, like the previous "I'm on a horse" line. New awkward turtle or distracting from the off color jokes?
"So ladies, should your man smell like an old spice man? You tell me..."
What do you think? Is Old Spice just having some good clean fun or re-enforcing gender norms? It could always be worse...