Old Spice’s Marketing Strategy: Make Fun of Men Who Act Femme

Can marketers engage in gender stereotypes without offending the PC police? Doubtful! So let’s see if Old Spice’s new ad for men’s bodywash can get away with advising American women not to let their men go another day smelling feminine.

That men do manly things, and women do womenly things, is the basis for about 94 percent of television advertising (by our rough, unscientific estimate). Diamonds are forever? Way to stereotype women’s wants! Drinking light beer makes you look like a sissy? Sorry, masculine reinforcement!

So where does this Old Spice ad fall in? Released on Thursday, before the Super Bowl, the very handsome fella delivering the lines tells ladies to look at their failure of a boyfriend, who’s been making himself smell like a lady by using their bodywash, and demand he start using a more masculine (scented) product.

Because men acting like women should be ridiculed and shamed — and cajoled into buying a product that does the exact same thing but smells a little different. And when you’re done with that, straight ladyfolks, do as you’re told and raise your right hand.

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  • Cassandra

    The solution is for gay men to make Old Spice ours – after all, what’s more masculine than a leather daddy, a bear with a beer, a gym bunny who can bench press RI, a man who can lipsynch in a dress for an hour and then f*ck for two, etc.

    After all, science has reported that heterosexual marriage reduces men’s level of testosterone, particularly after kids are born, and that marriage/long term relationships with women feminizes heterosexual men.

    Old Spice – If you don’t suck dick, you ain’t man enough for to smell like sea men.

  • dan

    Meh. Relax. We have bigger fights to fight than this. The commercial is funny. Next topic, please.

  • fredo777


    That ad was quite funny. Old Spice ads are always purposely oozing machismo + ridiculous masculine posturing. Side-note: that brotha is sexy.

  • DillonS

    The ad is very funny and they are not making fun of gay men or femme men. Does Queerty make stuff up hoping to get comments. Lots of comments does not a legitimate story make. God, you guys are really stretching for stories.

  • Same Crap

    @DillonS: “Does Queerty make stuff up hoping to get comments.”

    You bet your ass they do.

  • V

    I stopped going to this site months ago cuz it sucked. I came back a few days ago to see whether it still sucks. It still sucks. Bye bye.

  • terrwill

    Funny, I can’t recall smelling Old Spice on anyone who wasn’t old………

  • alan brickman

    The Femmes are always making fun of straight guys…..grab a life already!!

  • JRD

    I actually think their ads usually hit their demographics where they count. Considering this is a product bought by someone other than uses it (men who no longer shop for themselves), I would say this hits its mark. I even like it. Plus, I don’t date guys that smell like roses, and I don’t want to.

  • madestrange

    have a word with yourselves!

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 4, DillonS….you might be right about Queerty. It may even invent those antigay bloggers who come in here from time to time to agitate for the other side. The more hits it gets, the stronger and more powerful it becomes. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there are a lot of gays working against us, especially when it comes to full equality.

  • Giovanni

    The first in this series is hilarious. ” I am on a horse” Ha!

  • Dirty Ole Man

    I found the ad funny and quite sexy at the same time.
    Why do Gay Men try to kid themselves into thinking that
    we don’t want to sleep with MASCULINE Men, and don’t wish
    be more like them as well..? I understand the plight of FEM GAYS,
    and I empathize with their struggles, but that doesn’t mean I want to Smell like them or Sleep with them.

    Have any of you smelled Ole Spice Deodorant lately? It has an incredibly masculine scent. I’ll take an Old Spice Man any day of the week hunny.

  • DR

    terrwill, part of the new Old Spice marketing strategy (ok, it’s actually several years old) has been to appeal to younger men by letting them know that Old Spice isn’t the same stuff your dad used.

    JRD, you hit the nail on the head. This ad is geared toward women who buy their men products. They don’t want their guys to smell like flowers, either.

  • terrwill

    @DR: I don’t think its working! : P

  • B Damion

    Lmaoo…I saw this lastnight for the first time n was beg’en for it to come on again…Sooo funny.

    I love ya bye..bye!

  • B Damion

    I actually love when my “lover” uses the axe body spray after a shower..omg..I just wanna pounce on him like a fat kid with cake. uuummm..

  • Erick

    Somebody drank a sensitivity shake this morning to start this debate. Do people wake up looking for stuff to be offended by?

    The ad is fine and funny, it takes on both male and female roles.

  • DR

    terrwill: I would say it is. I like the “new” Old Spice, myself. Very masculine and fresh. The company has even been recognized by FHM.

  • scott ny'er

    i use old spice and a friend was in the same room as I and he said, what’s that smell. I said what smell. He’s like it smells like a french boudoir. And he wasn’t being complimentary. Stupid old spice anti-perspirant.

  • fredo777

    @terrwill: The old Old Spice products, maybe, but they’ve had new, fresher-scented products out for quite a while now. Their High Endurance deodorant, for example, is pretty sporty from what i recall.

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Funny ad. Silly post.

  • Jon

    Dudes . .you’ve really lost it this time. . . .those ads are funny.

  • Yuki

    I actually found this amusing, honestly. They’re just trying to sell their body wash and make it sound stereotypically masculine, as opposed to the often-floral or fruity-scented womens’ washes.

  • Jesse

    Can’t you see how ridiculous this is? It isn’t even taking itself seriously! “Oh whats that in your hand WOW THE CLAM IS NOW MADE OF DIAMONDS!” They aren’t actually saying that all men should be uber-macho they’re just making fun of themselves by being super over uber-macho. I feel like queerty is getting desperate for controversy when we already have enough real controversy to go around. Stop going after NPR and Old spice and go after Fox News and Homophobic Senators!

  • Same Crap

    Another queerty post FAIL. You guys can’t even manufacture fauxtrage properly.

  • romeo

    My father used a moderately expensive Bay Rum stuff that came in a wicker wrapped bottle. That was masculine and cool,too. Old Spice smells cheap, strictly for homeless guys. I wear Trafalgar. Just had to add my 2 cents. Old Spice ?!

  • Rikard

    I want my man to smell like him and have tickets to that thing I love and diamonds to cascade all over my naked body. I will confess to prefer unscented products, but think the commercial is funnier than most.

  • tazz602

    Huh?? Nowhere does it say anything about femme men – female scented it not the same as femme – or am I missing something??

  • Lukas P.

    We’re never quite sure if she’s senile or not, but my Grandmother has weighed in on the topic. (am going to translate into English, ‘cuz she’s foreign and STILL getting laid, or so I hear from her caretaker…. Lucky old gal!)
    “Men should smell like fresh sweat from hard work, not herbs or flowers!”
    True that.

    I find these ads funny, and def. less offensive than the Dockers ad campaign that was discussed on another thread.

  • Jerry


    you are wrong. it is offensive… and im not gay… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • fredo777


    There is nothing even remotely offensive about this ad. Pick your battles, people.

  • Christopher

    I think we need to understand that a real man isn’t selfish, isn’t timid amidst injustice, and fights for his responsibilities. That is it

  • Christopher


    So, if I were you, I would stop attacking Old Spice and go after those of the gay community who don’t act like men in the way I explained above.


    The point of the campaign is this. You guys are talking. You’re debating. You’re defending. And…subsequently, you’re remebering this campaign. Old spices major consumer is older men. They just so happen to be getting older, and then, someday, they’ll die. So, old spice needed to target younger men to make them 1) aware of old spice and 2) to start using it.

    They targeted the demographic with humor, social media, debate, and personalized messages.

    Whether you do, or do not like it…the point is it worked. You may not have purchased Old Spice because you think it’s cheap, or old, or whatever, but sales increased 107%, it became the #1 body wash, and is the #1 viewed/active sponsored Youtube channel in existence.

    Love it, or hate it. It worked.

    For those of you whining about it, stop looking for something to defend just because you don’t ACTUALLY have anything in your life worth fighting for. You’ll all give yourselves ulcers and hernias worrying about this shit.

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