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Old Spice Hairasses Isaiah Mustafa Legacy with Fabio as New Old Spice Guy

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.


Fernando Argentina says:

Why, P&G? Why?

July 20, 2011 08:07 PM #

Neil Wilson Australia says:

Old Fabio + Old Spices = #epicfail

Confusing and about as funny as Steel Panther

July 21, 2011 03:06 AM #

Neil Duly South Africa says:

Guys I think the company with one of the most successful social media campaigns would have updated their social media platforms.

The old spice guy is still on their sites so Fabio has not officially replaced the man.

Great article and I wonder if this is to "spice" up the campaign or to keep Isiah close. Personally I take door number 3, they're starting to shift these styles of ads to have less of an association with "the guy" and have them associated more with old spice.

The old spice guy was the as much a winner as old spice with their last social media campaign, I think this is part of a shift (with the other campaigns) to have the interest with the brands personality and not the actors.

July 21, 2011 03:50 AM #

Mike Borschow United States says:

May actually hurt sales, hurt the brand.  Nothing good can come of this.

July 21, 2011 04:22 AM #

Joseph G. United States says:

I'm glad this article pointed out that Old Spice might be using this new campaign as a way to coerce Mustafa back into the fold. If that's the case, I hope they're successful. Fabio just doesn't seem to be the right fit.

July 21, 2011 09:44 AM #

Fran K. United States says:

If a FAIL can be brilliant... this is the case study.

July 21, 2011 09:57 AM #

Anonymous United States says:

Doesn't work for me.

July 21, 2011 01:45 PM #

kathy Canada says:

I think it's clear fabio is not what he used to be physically,as they say if it's not broke...

July 21, 2011 05:38 PM #

terryobrien Canada says:

         your sales went up by 147% with Isiaah Mustafa. when the sales plummet i hope you have to pay out of your nose to get him back

July 22, 2011 10:42 AM #

bjbradl United States says:

Eeewww, not a fan of this tactic.  He's not an Old Spice Guy, he's just old.

July 22, 2011 11:40 AM #

Smtrudy United States says:

Ick. & What?

July 22, 2011 01:30 PM #

ozey Canada says:

Yuck....why would they do that?? He is not a very good actor , he can't pull it off.

July 22, 2011 02:21 PM #

YogaMama United States says:

Bring back Isaiah Mustafa!!

July 22, 2011 03:21 PM #

S. Brady (brandchannel) United States says:

Update: P&G confirmed today that Isaiah Mustafa will be back!


July 22, 2011 07:20 PM #

S. Brady (brandchannel) United States says:

Update: It's not over yet!


July 25, 2011 04:37 PM #

Neil Duly South Africa says:

thought it might go that way, whats better then the old spice guy? The old spice guy being better then an old spice boy.

July 25, 2011 05:27 PM #

S. Brady (brandchannel) United States says:

Here's the virtual duel between Fabio & Isaiah Mustafa:


July 26, 2011 11:36 PM #

Comments are closed

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