It seems the well received Old Spice ad “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like” is still influencing other brands several years removed from originally taking the ad world, and general commercial viewing public, by storm.
Copycats have been many, but the real trend is not necessarily a manly spokesperson oozing testosterone as they tell you about their product, but rather the overall manly positioning of the brand itself. In some cases, it makes sense. In others, it leaves you scratching your head.
Of the brands that are clear descendants of the Old Spice campaign, some, when you consider their target audience, the positioning as being “manly” makes sense.
Campaigns over the last several years from Edge Shave Gel and Dairy Queen have even hired the same spokesperson to basically do the same thing, talk to you in a manly tone. It makes sense for Edge Shave Gel, a product marketed specifically to men. By why does DQ need to do this? Likely because they were impressed with Old Spice.
Other products that have a decidedly manly tone in their execution and position as it relates to their target audience are brands like Sport Clips with their current radio ads and Slim Jim, which makes sense as we’ve never seen a woman eat a Slim Jim.
On the surface, you may question why a brand like Head & Shoulders has a commercial specifically targeting men when anyone and everyone is susceptible to dandruff. Upon further inspection, the commercial is really part of a larger ad campaign that targets different audiences with different line extensions.
Then there are the others. The campaigns you see that are decidedly positioned and marketed as a “manly” product, which just makes no sense. The commercial introducing Dr. Pepper Ten jumped right back on the Old Spice bandwagon, but why is this diet soda solely marketed towards men? And, it even has the gumption to call out how it’s “not for women.”
And our last example, a commercial that has just begun airing, is for Velveeta Shells & Cheese called “Eat Like the Guy You Know.” Not only does the voice-over rip off Danny McBride from Eastbound & Down, asks us to idolize a grown man selling helicopters in a mall, but worst of all, positions the product as something only for men. The issue here is not whether shells and cheese are for men or women, it’s really for kids. So don’t draw the line in the sand between the sexes, position the product as being okay for adults to eat.
This will likely not be the last we see of “manly” products. As others arrive, we’ll let you know our thoughts.