Analysis of Old Spice Advertisements

Topics: Masculinity, Gender, Man Pages: 3 (1199 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Nik Parr
Old Spice Guy
When you read this, realize that I could have talked to you about the appalling American Apparel ads, which literally show girls lying in bed with their legs spread open. I had the option of ranting about Dolce and Gabanna, or Calvin Klein or any of these typical “lets have sex” ads. We all know sex sells, and I would only be savagely beating a long-dead horse to devote an entire paper to the ultra-sexualized way in which women are portrayed via submissiveness, insatiable lust, lack of intelligence. The advertising world has already marred so much of the image of women that the occasional positive ad is refreshing to say the least. But this paper is not about sex, so I will curtail my “everything is going to hell” rage that seems to be sprawling its away across this keyboard. No, I will instead focus on Old Spice, and more particularly its “Old Spice Guy” ads, which you will (hopefully) be able to recall with a smile and laugh as I delve into my insightful analysis. Unfortunately, the printed Old Spice ad simply captioned “smell like a man, man” doesn’t do this ad justice. But here are the main components to this ad campaign: A handsome black male in good physical condition (as expected) is shown with a variety of attributes that make him “manly” with a caption that reads “smell like a man, man”. In the particular advertisement I’ve selected he is riding a gallant white stallion, but the various ads of this campaign are interchangeable. The “Old Spice Guy”, as he’s called, is sometimes shown adorned with gaudy, golden medals for “winning at everything”, other times portrayed holding glistening white pearls in his hand, riding a horse backwards, wearing some massive prize fighting belt, a bow and quiver of arrows strung across his shoulder and always with an ultra-confident, smug look across his face. The reason I found this ad worth writing about was not because I laughed and watched all of the Old Spice commercials on YouTube,...
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