How One Brand Brings A Little Paradise To My Weary Morning Routine

By: Andrew Eide

The alarm clock shrieks like Gilbert Gottfried, startling me awake at 7am. I’m so tired it Gilbertfeels like my soul is quivering. I hit the snooze button and indulge in another 15 minutes of sleep. Again the alarm clock sounds off impatiently, and reluctantly I rise, careful to not disturb my slumbering wife and 5-month-old daughter.

I slowly pull out the bottom drawer of my dresser. It once belonged to my grandparents – now worn down and creaky in its old age. Again I cross my fingers in hopes I won’t disturb my sleeping loves as I retrieve a clean pair of boxer briefs.

The next and final obstacle in my stealthy escape is the bedroom door, and the obnoxious beast on the other side of it clamoring to get in. Gently I pull the door open, revealing my cat Brody, crying out of desperation for attention and attempting to catch a glimpse of the room he’s not allowed in. Kicking him aside, I close the door, leaving the bedroom at peace.

I stumble my way downstairs as my two cats gleefully follow. I crack open a can of Friskies Liver & Chicken Pate and feed the furry groupies rubbing against my legs. Next I start the coffee maker and head into the bathroom for a shower.

The warmth of the water on my neck practically lulls me back to sleep as I lose myself in thought, staring at the shower wall with one eye closed.

My daughter Ever was born in February. In anticipation for her birth, I took a part time job on nights and weekends to help get us through my wife’s maternity leave. But going back to work was torture for Jenny. She was already unhappy at her job, where she was overworked and underpaid, and she couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on Ever’s babyhood. So we decided it was best for her to quit and take care of Ever fulltime, and I’d just get more hours at my part time job. Now my baby’s happy, my wife’s happy, and I’m happy. But between my two jobs and my 5-month-old night owl at home, I’m a bit exhausted.

However, the weary beginning to my morning is turned around as I reach for my Old Spice body wash. The scent is Zanzibar, from the Fresh Collection. One sniff and I’m transported to the serene landscape depicted on the bottle – the ocean inhales and exhales as I lay on the coast beneath the orange glow of dusk. It’s a little escape that I sorely need. Old Spice continues the experience with its wondrous copy on the back of the bottle:

Zanzibar

 

Hypothetically speaking, there is only one island with enough coastline, historical mystery and well-deserved wealth in natural spices to inspire a body scent guaranteed to turn every womanly encounter into a game of spin the expensive, diamond-encrusted bottle. That island is Zanzibar. That’s just a hypothetical fact that nobody can argue with.

 

Another one of my favorites is Citron from the Fresher Collection: Citron

 

CITRON is like captaining a schooner, the scent of fresh lime and sandalwood blowing through your sails, en route to forbidden mermaid love. Also, the schooner has a go-cart track on it.

 

 

And then there’s WOLFTHORN from the Wild Collection:

Wolfthorn

 

In the realm of animals and men known as earth, there is one animal intelligent enough to smell like the most fearsomely handsome animal of them all, and that is the man, who smells like the wolf would if a wolf smelled like a handsome man. That’s just the way things go in the realm I’m talking about.

 

 

We all know Old Spice for their ludicrous TV spots, but they don’t stop there. You can find their trademark branding and fantastical voice in everything they touch, from their website, to social media, to the backs of labels on their products. They even manage to delight me at the most intimate of moments, in my shower, and during a time in my life when I’m in most need of a little paradise, even if it means a brief mental escape and a good laugh.

This is the Holy Grail for brands. Before this big change in my life, I was a moderate Old Spice fan. I’d maybe get some of their deodorant once in a while, but now they dominate my bathroom, from shampoo, to body wash, to body spray.

It is said that people don’t buy logically, they buy emotionally.  And this is a prime example of that. It may sound strange, but I guess I’m using hygiene products to fulfill an emotional need, and I choose Old Spice, despite the higher price tag, because they accomplish it best.

I’m not exactly sure when or how it happened, but at some point Old Spice became something to me that goes beyond clean skin deep –  transcending dirt, grime and perspiration – and captivating my sense of humor, enchanting my imagination, and touching, dare I say, my heart. Man, I love good branding.

The Elusive Perfect Ad

Some say it doesn’t exist. Others blindly believe. Me? I was hopeful, but just didn’t know for sure, until I had a sighting the other day.

I was driving home from work one night, ear buds plugged in and listening to one of my favorite comedy podcasts Professor Blastoff, when all of a sudden an ad came on. It was a short, quirky-funny Old Spice ad, done in a style of humor that tickled me perfectly. Majestic and awe-inspiring, I literally laughed out loud (LLOL) then listened to it again. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the spot ever since; it just stuck with me. I guess that’s the power of the elusive perfect ad.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Professor Blastoff and have never heard any actual advertisements on the show, other than the hosts occasionally endorsing things like audible.com, but never anything product-related, nor anything that’s been professionally produced by brands, so I didn’t even expect it.

In my opinion, this was a perfect ad. The message was genuinely entertaining, and it reached me in a moment of zero clutter. Plus, after visiting the production company’s website (Earwolf) and looking at the “Advertise” section, I discovered that I fit into the surprisingly narrow demographic, so it was perfectly targeted. And most importantly, the ad led to a sale. After years of using the same deodorant, I finally upgraded.

Now the only problem is, I can hardly remember the spot anymore, and I don’t know what episode it was on. I have tons of Professor Blastoff episodes on my iPod; each is at least over an hour long. I fast-forwarded through a bunch of them but to no avail. I searched online and scoured the Old Spice website, nothing. I even tweeted @OldSpice and wrote on the Professor Blastoff Facebook page, no one answered.

In our world of ever-increasing media saturation and just plain bad advertising, this perfect ad is hard to come by. But it was refreshing to see that although elusive, it is still out there, that is, if my sighting was real. I’m halfway expecting Old Spice to respond to me with, “We don’t know what you’re talking about. We never ran an ad on Professor Blastoff.” And then creepy, mysterious music will play.

Maybe one day I’ll find this perfect ad again, but it really doesn’t matter, because now, I can say that I am a believer.

– Andrew