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Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 07/26/2011

War of the Old Spice guys: Isaiah Mustafa returns, accepts Fabio’s duel challenge

Yes, ladies (and gentlemen), you read that headline correctly.

Isaiah Mustafa, the face of Old Spice’s wildly successful “Smell Like a Man, Man” ad series has returned after, he claims, negotiating (single-handedly?) the NFL labor deal.

However, Harlequin romance icon Fabio started pitching for Old Spice as well. And, yes, he has challenged Mustafa to a “duel”. (Apparently Fabio’s ads have been deeemed not as popular as Mustafa’s.) There was some speculation as to what, exactly, the duel would entail. And Old Spice was happy to add fuel to the fire, in so far as there was one:

But the wait is over.

The YouTube page Old Spice created especially for the ad campaign (it’s called “Mano a Mano in el Bano”) for the ad campaign was updated just Tuesday afternoon with two new videos from Mustafa. In the first video, answering a question from a tweeter, Mustafa rationalizes, in typical Old Spice Guy form, that his Fabio face-off is, indeed, the “duel of the century.” In the second video, Mustafa introduces the ballot box, so to speak, giving viewers a chance to click in favor of “Team Old Spice Guy” or “Team Fabio.” Votes can also be cast via Twitter or Facebook.

You may be wondering why, given that this is a blog about innovations, we’d bother to cover this manufactured pitchman pseudo-rumble. Rest assured, we have our reasons.

If you’ve ever seen the Edge shave gel commercials, or even Dairy Queen’s latest ad campaign, then you know how influential the Old Spice Guy ad series has been. Mustafa’s first ad for Old Spice was so popular it helped get him get a talent deal with NBC in 2010.

Mustafa’s straight to camera, self-mocking style went viral that year and, since then, has provided Old Spice — a brand increasingly known more for what your dad smelled like — with an opportunity to cater to the next generation of dads.

By  |  01:02 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Categories:  Business, The Arts, Video

 
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