Old Spice Scent Commercials

The Old Spice commercials are primarily composed of an African American male, who is highly toned clothed only below the waist, with a white towel. Through his various commercials he attempts to convey how “your man” could smell like him through the use of Old Spice body wash. The setting is initially starts in a rather dreary shower plastered with a rather dreary and unentertaining colour scheme. The colour scheme and the dreary backdrop change and progress in order to show a more visually pleasing background, with excessively greater items erupting from the actors hands. These items usually take the form of objects that would be desirable to a female, increasing in extremity and value as the commercial progresses. The target audience of this commercial at first appears to be the female audience as most spoken lines as well as visual references are directed to a female viewer. However, upon closer inspection, this commercial is most definitely directed at a male, and is attempting to convince them that using this body wash will result in attracting various females to them.

Through this commercial, there is one visual ideology that is portrayed, which is that an able-bodied, toned, athletic, and fit male, will have a greater chance at interactions with the opposite sex, than one who is the opposite of these ideals. Furthermore and more specifically, the commercial portrays the ideology that with the use of the scented body wash, one will be able to “pick up” girls at a superior rate when compared to one that doesn’t use this body wash. The commercial attempts to convey that using this body wash will make you like the character displayed, it will make you toned, fit, and athletic, and make you irresistible to women.

A smaller but still important portion of portrayed ideology is that wealthy people are more empowered than poorer people with females. This is shown not in obvious terms, but through the spontaneous appearance of various precious items in the hands of the model. It attempts to convey that through the use of the body wash, you will gain the various perceived advantages of being materialistically sound, while using only this body wash. Although not a direct comparison of wealth to comparative advantage, the implications are clearly seen when one reads into the usually stupidly high amounts of either precious metals, or jewels dripping from the actor’s hand. Furthermore although subtle, the change in setting from a dreary shower to a tropical or other overly overt setting again displays the consumerist and materialistic guidance of society. It shows that using this body wash, will grant you the ability to embark on tropical vacations and satisfy all your travelling wants.

The commercial implies that through the use of the body wash, you will become a better, more desirable man; in fact you will fit into society’s perceived definition of perfection. The commercial implies that through using this body wash, you will be the perfect man. Although seemingly harmless this show perpetuates an unrealistic body model for various males and may lead to eating disorders in an attempt to gain that “ideal body style.” Furthermore it encourages reckless and unjustified spending in order to become similar to the model in the ad. It can lead to

Both of the ideologies and the commercial itself are metaphors for materialism and economics. As was defined within Sellnow, economic metaphors are anything that signifies something about the culture’s ideas, norms, values, practices, and so forth. The whole commercial displays our cultures emphasis on materialistic goods and practices. The use of the toned male attempts to convey the ideal body image of a man, and how all should strive to be similarly fit and unafraid to display themselves. The use of gifts, excessive gifts to satisfy the desires of a woman, puts emphasis on society’s desire for materialistic goods to be a substitute for emotions. It tries to convey the thought that happiness can be bought using various gifts, an ideal created and maintained by the consumerist driven society. This commercial is a negative addition to society as it promises unrealistic results for using a body wash, and when these promised results are not delivered upon may lead to health issues and monetary issues in an attempt to emulate the commercial.


One thought on “Old Spice Scent Commercials


    To begin with, you have selected an appropriate text for your Marxist analysis. The Old Spice commercials unfold preferred reading of Marxist hegemony via cultivating consumer culture. You have beautifully portrayed the highly toned, masculine, well- built figure in two different settings—-sending the message across that by using Old Spice body wash, you are liable to attract more women. The visual imagery enhances an obsession with material goods—–in the form of gold, silver and diamonds. Here, you can illustrate how T.V commercials perpetuate hegemony. That is, those who have material possession are ‘empower’ and those who do not own these, are disempowered. You are quite pertinent to point out that the commercial reinforces the idea that those who are empowered tend to attract more women than those who are not.

    A Marxist analysis relies heavily upon subject positions, i.e. the characters who m the viewers view as models (us) an those whom they do not identify with ( them ) as anti- models. This particular commercial view those who use Old Spice body wash as models and those who do not use this, as anti-models In order to strength your argument , you can use these terms.

    The commercial emphasizes the discrepancy between fact and fancy. The power of media is such that we are led to believe that what we view on T.V. in the form of commercials is real. How can the mere use of body wash enable one to be financially strong, to enable one to show physical superiority and be in a position to attract various women?

    You are at your best while evaluating potential implications of the text and its likely effects on individuals and society at large. “Although seemingly harmless this show perpetuates an unrealistic body model for various males and may lead to eating disorders in an attempt to gain that ideal body style. “(Joshua). It tries to convey the thought that happiness can be bought by spending money and there is no importance attached to emotions. Happiness is equated with material goods.

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