Maybe it’s a clash of advertising icons. Or a smackdown between Fallon and Wieden + Kennedy. Perhaps it’s just the grossest brand partnership of the year. Old Spice and Arby‘s are running a new deodorant ad, offering the deodorant brand as a cure for the meat sweats caused by the fast-food chain’s massive sandwiches.
The ads star Old Spice legend Isaiah Mustafa, who first began appearing in its ads in 2010, with the basso profundo of Ving Rhames doing the required Arby’s voiceover.
Mustafa -- and yes, he’s draped only in a towel this time, too -- is climbing the mountain that is Arby’s Half Pound Roast Beef sandwich before Rhames kicks him out of the ad. Mustafa doesn’t land on his feet, but on a horse -- well, horseradish sauce.
Readers of The Drum recently named Mustafa’s “The man your man could smell like”, circa 2010, the fourth best ad of all time.
“Isaiah Mustafa has been an iconic part of the brand since he debuted in the ‘Smell Like a Man, Man’ campaign in 2010 that helped bring Old Spice back into relevance among consumers,” says Matt Krehbiel, vice president of Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice.
Old Spice has brought the NFL star-turned-actor back in some capacity every year since, including the comical “Cold as balls” spots with comedian Kevin Hart two years ago.
“For this Arby’s partnership, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring together the two legendary icons, in an authentically and entertaining way that our audiences would love,” Krehbiel says.
The partnership features a limited-edition Meat Sweat Defense kit with a co-branded Arby’s and Old Spice roast beef-patterned sweatsuit, a towel, sweatband and two Old Spice dry sprays, available for sale at arbysshop.com.
Krehbiel tells Marketing Daily, via email, that Wieden + Kennedy, Old Spice’s agency since 2006, produced the spot. The licensing agreement and some shooting were from Fallon, which took over the Arby’s account in 2014. Rhames booming “We have the meats” also debuted that year.
Krehbiel freely admits that the whole idea of combining meat sweats in a food ad is perfectly disgusting. But it also makes sense.
“Scientists call this sweat-causing heat diet-induced thermogenesis -- that moment when you realize you’ve eaten way too much meat,” he says. “We’re partnering around such a relatable experience that anyone who watches the spot can immediately connect with and have a good laugh…but also consider grabbing Sweat Defense Dry Spray.”