News & Politics

Commercials Involving Horses Are Surefire Winners


We know you’ve seen the commercial. There has been so much water cooler talk about it since the Super bowl, especially among women in shops (you know, in nail shops, hair salons, massage parlors, Bloomingdales, etc.)

This is great news for Old Spice. Its Facebook fan page has blown up (they’ve acquired 525,361 fans so far, about half of which are women, by our approximation.) The L.A. Times reports that the commercial went up on YouTube on Feb. 4, and before Super Bowl Sunday, the official clip had about 30,000 views. The Monday after the Super Bowl (Feb. 8) brought that count to around 250,000 views. Yikes.

As of now, the famed “manmercial” has over 3 million views. Proctor & Gamble can thank Portland-based ad agency Wieden + Kennedy for that. Old Spice is out for blood, especially that of Axe fragrance, owned by Unilever.

The commercial only took three days to shoot, and yes, they used a real horse. (There’s a nifty behind-the-scenes video below. It is lengthy, mind you) The star of the commercial, Isaiah Mustafa, has interesting credentials: He studied history at Arizona State, and subsequently played four years in the NFL as a wide receiver. While in his mid-20s, he opened a barbecue place with his mother called “Just Barbeque” in Ventura, Calif. He didn’t enjoy the experience.

Interestingly, sociologists are mulling over on the reasoning behind Old Spice’s excessive use of the horse motif in several of their commercials, including this latest installment. They write:

“Drawing in the idea of a particularly potent man being ‘hung like a horse,’ the [centaur] ad implies that users of Old Spice body wash are not only ‘smart shoppers’ and good ‘providers,’ but also that they are heterosexual dynamos in the sack with really big penises!”

There might be something to the theories, but if for nothing else, on behalf of women, we still like this commercial.


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