Old Spice has a history of putting out surreal, attention-grabbing commercials, but its latest, “Momsong,” is some kind of nightmarish masterpiece.
The commercial, which aired during the AFC Wild Card game between San Diego and Cincinnati, is already an online hit, with more than a million views on YouTube in just under three days.
While Old Spice has built its reputation on a series of bizarre commercials featuring former NFL players Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews, the new spot sets aside traditional manly icons and comes at the notion from a motherly point of view.
In the spot, a series of mothers sing a lament about how their sweet little boys are now growing up to become men. But it’s where these mothers are that really gets under your skin. They’re hiding behind doors and drapes, hanging off the back of cars, emerging from couch cushions and bursting from beneath the sand of the beach. Even more disturbing, one of the mothers seems to be co-habiting a school janitor’s body.
The commercial, directed by Steve Ayson for the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy and the production company MJZ, is part of the company’s “Smellcome to Manhood” campaign, which also ties into the company’s efforts to end an “overspray epidemic.” Yes, apparently young men are spraying way too much underarm deodorant these days.
While many on Twitter found the commercial hilarious or brilliant, not everyone could get on board. Perhaps it dredged up a few issues.
As one Twitter user wrote, “Is there such a thing as a REVERSE Oedipus complex? ‘Cause if there is then that Old Spice commercial definitely has it.”