Old Spice's holiday video spends an hour exploding Yule logs and Terry Crews
Procter & Gamble brand Old Spice rolled out a new advertisement on YouTube promoting its Old Spice Holiday packs. The hour-long video largely consists of a static shot of a Yule log in a fireplace that continuously explodes.
- Old Spice brand pitchman Terry Crews periodically appears in the fire and elsewhere on screen to say things like, "Ho, ho, ho — marketing!" before exploding. He also plugs the special holiday packs, which include combinations of body wash, deodorant, shampoo and antiperspirant.
The nearly feature-length "Ye Olde Exploding Yule Log," soundtracked by some holiday classics and a lot of explosion effects, is available to view in full below. It racked up a little over 45,000 YouTube hits at press time and went live on Nov. 20. The brand is promoting the video on its official social media channels.
Old Spice mastered extra-short, on-the-fly video marketing long before it became a hot industry trend, including through a viral 2010 campaign that featured Isaiah Mustafa — the brand's other go-to mascot — sending fans 186 quickie responses that were filmed in mere minutes. Its holiday push this year goes hard in the opposite direction, appearing to rib advertisers' growing predilection for six-second spots on YouTube and TV with nearly a full hour of chaos. The whole effort also parodies the idea of throwing on a static Yule log image with some holiday tunes to create a soothing seasonal atmosphere at home.
While its cacophony can get grating, the spot nestles in some Easter eggs for those willing to tough it out: A little after the 21-minute mark, for example, the scene changes to include literal Easter eggs and Crews's face superimposed on a rabbit, as he notes, "Whoops, wrong holiday." The actor's incredulity toward a spinning hot dog over the fireplace at one point might be a dig at Snapchat's virtual 3-D filter that became a massive hit earlier this year.
Beyond bucking the extra-short video trend, the ad could additionally come as a response to holiday campaigns from other CPGs and retailers which tend to lean into sticky sentimentality and the spirit of the season. Old Spice clearly wants to blow up some those tropes with an ironic nod and a wink.
"It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget the true meaning of the season," the YouTube video description reads. "Oh well! Hope we remember next year!"
Follow Peter Adams on Twitter