Friday, August 29, 2008

Spicier Print

When Procter and Gamble added actor Neil Patrick Harris to its list of pitchmen for its tried-and-true Old Spice deodorant, it took the brand makeover one more step onward and upward.

Old Spice has become more hip and more current by enlisting comic actors like Will Ferrell and Bruce Campbell as pitchmen – Harris is the latest with the quite nice TV spots you can watch (carefully) here on YouTube: “You DON’T have to be a doctor to recommend it.” An entire bloat of bloggers have commented on the Harris commercials, not least because Procter has reversed the manly play by adroitly enlisting this particular actor.

Better than the TV commercials, go to the Old Spice website and attend the brand’s TV School of Medicine…really outstanding. You can get your own hospital doctor’s badge by answering just a few questions. (Well, really you only have to answer one question – but it’s sorta hard.)

What’s most enjoyable, though, is the supporting print ad that’s running in leading-edge magazines like, say, WIRED. Most of the time in Ad-Land, the broadcast is hilarious while the print work just sits there. The art director for this ad, though, managed to get the hilarity of the TV spot condensed to a single page and you have time to really look it over. Harris’s casual hand-in-pocket look, stethoscope neatly placed on the patient’s nose – what better way to highlight “the torment of chronic body odor and wetness.”

Harris’s badge reads: Health Center Medical Hospital Center. (It must be a great place.) The Old Spice script is cut off at the bottom of the ad like old Cutty Sark advertising. And the copywriting’s not too bad, either.

The agency’s still Wieden and Kennedy. Want to enjoy the perks of being a would-be TV doctor? This ad’s perfectly tuned to help you get there. Seriously.

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