Posted by Shirley Brady on July 20, 2011 07:00 PM
P&G has hired actor/model/spokesman Fabio for a guest (if not permanent) stint replacing award-winning, hugely successful Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa — who's hot on the scent of an acting career, from director Tyler Perry's recent Madea outing to the current Horrible Bosses — as the "New" Old Spice Guy.
Reaction on Twitter, Facebook and the NewOldSpiceGuyFabio YouTube channel to Fabio's spots (watch the two :30's and two :15s below) has been uniformly negative, but that may be the idea — build popular support to convince Mustafa (who's still featured on the 'classic' Old Spice channel, although his last new spot was four months ago) to give up Hollywood?
Perhaps P&G just wants to (why not?) spice up the campaign. After all, Mustafa, who's shooting two movies and in pre-production on a third, is moving on, and has already been replaced internationally in at least one campaign for the brand.
The social media channels don't do justice to Mustafa's definitive Old Spice Guy, either. The Fabio-branded YouTube channel refers to "Old Spices" (a play on Fabio's broken English, judging from the language of the character's postings). The "new" Old Spice YouTube channel's social call to action is a cheesy "Ladies, follow me" — vs. the "old" Old Spice channel's more confident (and inclusive) "Follow us" as a social come-on.
Clicking on the Fabio YouTube channel's Facebook and Twitter buttons leads to "new" Old Spice pages (confused yet?), where initial reaction is lukewarm:
So what do you think: is Fabio a worthy successor to Mustafa, or is he the "New Coke" to Mustafa's classic Coke? Watch the spots and weigh in below.