Old spice Rhetorical Analysis

Table of Content

Old Spice is a well-known brand that specializes in men’s hygiene products. They have created a series of amusing and captivating advertisements to promote their line of men’s body wash. The main objective of these advertisements is to convince the target audience to buy the featured product. A study conducted at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria (suite101.com) highlights the different strategies used to attract and foster loyalty among consumers.

Old Spice ads not only aim to differentiate their product in the market but also outperform other men’s body wash brands. These commercials suggest that using Old Spice will transform a man into the epitome of masculinity, commonly known as the Old Spice man. The appeal of these ads lies in addressing women’s desires, presenting an idealized image of a man and his fragrance, and incorporating provocative elements to capture attention. In today’s society, targeting women is an effective strategy for selling male-oriented products. According to She-conomy website, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, particularly those influenced by specific brands. Women hold strong opinions on commercials for men’s products and if they appreciate the advertisements, they are more inclined to purchase the product themselves or persuade men they know to do so.

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In Old Spice’s current ad campaign, various fit and attractive actors and sports stars are employed to showcase the effectiveness of their body wash. Ex-NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa is featured in two specific commercials, which emphasize masculinity, sex appeal, and humor. In one ad, Mustafa emerges from a shower wearing only a towel and greets viewers with a deep voice, saying “Hello, ladies”. He proceeds to engage directly with female viewers, instructing them to compare him to the man sitting next to them, implying that no average man could compare favorably. Eventually, Mustafa states that unfortunately, the man next to them is not him.

The commercial features Mustafa in a series of rapidly shifting scenes designed to appeal to women. He is shown shirtless on a sailboat at sunset, holding tickets that turn into diamonds, and sitting shirtless on a white stallion on a tropical beach. In the second ad, Mustafa starts on a beach in a towel and is then shown shirtless and in shorts log rolling in a mountain lake, baking a cake in a kitchen he built with his bare hands, diving off a waterfall into a hot tub for an “incredible night,” and ending up shirtless and in jeans and boots on a motorcycle. Throughout both ads, Mustafa reminds women that their men can be more like him by using Old Spice body wash. Annamarya, a contributing blogger to The Daily Femme website, stated that these ads are meant to appeal to women who want their men to smell like Dos Equis “the most interesting man in the world” and have a sense of humor about it. While Old Spice won’t magically make men perform extravagant feats, it is enjoyable to imagine that it could. (source: dailyfemme.com)

The commercial’s appeal to women relies on the attractiveness of the actor, the settings, and the humor based on the idea that a perfect man can exist. According to the website Marketing to Women Online, humor in advertising is especially powerful with women (Buchanan). The attractiveness and humor of the ads show that the producers recognized the importance of women as an audience. These commercials also target men and have a message for them. They present an ideal image of a man and his scent. Using a good-looking fit man in the advertisement gives the product an image that men desire. The Old Spice Guy is depicted as perfect, with zero body fat, embodying masculine ideals, and delivering a deadpan baritone voice that unleashes awesomeness (pcworld.com). There is no hidden message; the ads explicitly convey that using this product can make you look, smell, and be like the man on TV.

The Old Spice man, Mustafa, surpasses you in every aspect and is able to provide more for your partner. You have the opportunity to emit the scent of the “ultimate man”, or as the advertisement slogan suggests, “Smell like a man, man”. The commercials target men on an emotional level by suggesting that they do not meet their partner’s expectations, but by using Old Spice, they can smell like and potentially become the ideal man their partner desires. In other words, these advertisements promote an image of the perfect man. The ads elicit emotional responses from men by directly appealing to their masculinity, vanity, and even their insecurities about impressing, attracting, and satisfying women. Additionally, these commercials employ a tried and true advertising strategy – sex sells. Sexually themed advertisements can appeal to both men and women, effectively capturing attention. “From a marketing perspective, sexual appeal may be advantageous for the simple reason that they prey on basic biological instincts and thus, an incredible motivation factor, which is a desirable attribute to break through all the clutter” (web.biz.uwa). The desired outcome is achieved due to the sexual nature of the ads – an attractive and well-built man directly addressing women in seductive tones and romantic settings. People, both men and women, pause what they are doing to watch.Not only does the sexual content in commercials capture people’s attention but it also aids in their recollection of the advertisements. The Old Spice ads triumph as they leave a lasting impact on individuals and initiate conversations among those who have viewed them. Nonetheless, advertisers must exercise caution when incorporating sex appeal into these ads.

If the sexual content in commercials is excessive, it may not have the desired effect. Advertisers understand that offensive commercials can harm the appeal of their products (Gunter 207). Particularly, women may not favor a commercial if the sexual content is too intense. Advertisers are aware that insulting the intelligence of their target audience is a terrible marketing strategy and can be career-ending. How can you disrespect your viewers? (Nutt 1) The success of the Old Spice commercials among both men and women lies in the moderation of sexual content. It is blended with appropriate humor and isn’t offensive. Old Spice has achieved a successful advertising campaign by targeting women, appealing to men’s desire to be masculine, and utilizing traditional sex appeal. Writers, producers, and actors are all handsomely rewarded for creating commercials that capture viewers’ attention and leave a lasting impression of the products. When this happens, the benefits for the company can be enormous.

Samuel Johnson believes that advertising relies on making big promises. The Old Spice ads for women follow this concept by showcasing an appealing, manly, and romantic figure. Additionally, the ads imply that men can become superheroes just by using a specific soap brand. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that these transformations only happen on TV.

Works Cited

Coleman, Brenna. www.suite101.com. N.p., 16 May 2010. Web. 1 Oct 2010.
www.thedailyfemme.com. N.p., 12 July 2010. Web. 2 Oct. 2010.
Slattery, Brennan. www.pcworld.com. N.p., 14 July 2010. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.
Buchanan, Holly. “Male vs. Female Humor.” Marketing to Women Online.
N.p., 11 Nov 2006. Web. 11 Oct 2010.
web.biz.uwa. N.p., 11 Oct 2010. Web. 11 Oct 2010.

The text provided contains citations and references to sources on the topic of marketing and advertising. These sources include Holland’s article on “Marketing to Women Quick Facts” from the website she-conomy, Gunter’s book “Media Sex – What Are The Issues?”, Nutt’s article on “How the Wrong Advertising Strategy Can Kill Your Brand” from Ezine Articles, and a collection of quotations about advertising from The Quote Garden.

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