The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
is an unusual ad in many ways. For one, it doesn't go after the obvious audience. Male hygiene products ads usually target men, often by implying that they will receive copious amounts of sex
as a result of using their products (AXE deodorant, for example). The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
takes a different approach, by targeting women who are in relationships with men, implying that their man will become much more manly as a result of using Old Spice (or, at least, he will smell more manly). This approach has its advantages - people tend not to notice their own scent, so a woman who buys Old Spice for her man will see quicker results than the man in question. Also, while the ad mentions men who use "lady-scented bodywash", it could also cover men who do not use any
bodywash, and are unlikely to buy such products on their own.
The real genius, however, is the viral element. The writing is a major part, but it is Isaiah Mustafa's delivery that has turned this into a viral success (and landed it on TV Tropes
). In an age when avoiding ads is getting easier all the time, what with DVR and adblocking software, an ad that is so entertaining that people seek it out stands out. Perhaps if all ads were this fun to watch, people wouldn't bother skipping them.