How On Earth Did They Make That Old Spice Commercial?

A new commercial in Old Spice’s “the man your man could smell like” series of ads hit the airwaves and the Internets this week. If you’re not delighted, you should be. The commercials are silly, visually interesting, and–according to their star, the very visually interesting actor Isaiah Mustafa–surprisingly low-tech behind the scenes.

Here he is, on a recent interview on G4’s “Attack of the Show.” If you can’t play the video at work, here are some of the highlights:

  • There’s no CGI: just a very elaborate set built on a lake in Vallermo, California.
  • It’s all one continuous shot, and required “36 or 37” takes.
  • In the first scene, those are prosthetic legs.
  • The circular saw is terrifyingly real.
  • The waterfall was man-made, and Mustafa wears a harness and wire through the entire shot.

Mustafa won’t reveal how he ends up wearing jeans in the last vignette where he’s sitting on a motorcycle. Mysteries.

And here’s the commercial itself, if you’re wondering what this is all about.

Isaiah Mustafa Reveals Secrets Behind Old Spice Commercial [G4] (Thanks, Joe!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. dolemite says:

    I thought that commercial was great. Very imaginative.

  2. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Wow. I think I’m missing something by not watching live TV with commercials. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t like Old Spice, but the commercial is definitely entertaining.

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I think the only CGI was eliminating the harness/wires. As for the jeans, there appears to be a lot of “junk in his trunk” area while walking into the kitchen to cut the wood. I am guessing they are open back forms covered with jean and shoe material, so the forced perception of the camera makes them look like a real pair of jeans. Either that, or the shorts are fold-away and there are magnets inside so all he has to do is unroll them and the seams will attract each other. F-ing magnets, how do they work?!

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Also, I must admit I like the other new commercials with Terry Crews. Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-power!

    • Nidoking says:

      It looks to me like it’s another prosthetic shot – a pair of prosthetic legs in jeans sitting on the motorcycle, which he’s standing behind. It worked once.

      • A Bay Horse says:

        I agree, I think the jeans are another pair of fake legs. And I’d like to theorize that the “junk in his trunk” required no CGI or special effects. *sighs*

      • TheWillow says:

        In the interview he specifically says that shot is not prosthetics.

        • farcedude2 says:

          I’d figure, from the way he drops into the hot tub thingy, that he actually slides into the jeans and shoes, and that they had an elastic waistband.

    • Billy says:

      I think that the junk is his harness for the swan dive.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        I might agree, but for the short distance he travels, he wouldn’t need a large harness. Just a simple nylon crotch squeezer.

  4. ostaguph says:

    Here’s how it’s done…

  5. Clyde Barrow says:

    I’ve always liked Old Spice but wonder what women think of it cuz I don’t know any guys that wear it anymore.

    • jgarfink says:

      Old Spice is one of my favorite scents on guys. Mmmmmmmm.

    • JF says:

      I think it depends on who she already knows that may wear it. Everything old becomes new again, like names…. one generation will think something sounds/smells “old” and the next will think it is “classic”.

      Plus, don’t the Old Spice body washes come in several scents?

    • koali says:

      Old Spice is soooo intoxicating. Sometimes I just smell the deodorant.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      My grandfather always wore it, so it has less than an intoxicating effect on me. It will make me want to provide the wearer with a cardigan and a hot cup of black coffee, though!

      • hoi-polloi says:

        Your comment put a big smile on my face. There are worse fates than someone bringing you a cup of coffee and a sweater.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      I use Old Spice deodorant/antiperspirant.. I’ve found that most other deodorants smell foul to me, and really I’m the one that has to smell it all the time.

    • thepassenger says:

      The classic “Old Spice” scent is only a small part of the picture. They still sell the deodorant, but Old Spice is more of a brand than a specific fragrance. I’ve been using the soft solid anti-perspirant for a couple of years now, and I keep using it because it works well and one container lasts for several weeks.

    • It'sRexManningDay! says:

      A couple of my uncles wore Old Spice years ago…it evokes memories of childhood, not of hotness. I would imagine a lot of women might have a similar scent-memory of this one.

      Think of all the women years from now who will be transported back to childhood with one sniff of CoolWater…

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I wear it! I have a good supply of Old Spice: Spice

  6. marzolian says:

    Cute, but I have a quibble: A true swan dive is head first. Plus, his body wobbles just after the dive, making it more obvious than it could have been that he’s wearing a harness. But landing on the motorcycle and the sides falling away were cool.

    • tatatoothy says:

      I think the fact that he floated down like a balloon was a little more offsetting than the slight wobble.

    • Wheelwright says:

      That’s the entire point of the gag. It’s a surrealist bait and switch.

    • Salty Johnson says:

      Something tells me they weren’t exactly trying to hide the fact that he was harnessed……………………………………………..

  7. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    I hadn’t seen this one yet; thank you Consumerist for flaming my Isaiah obsession. I love these commercials, LOL.

    (side note: nope, haven’t bought my man any Old Spice yet. I refuse to buy it unless it comes with Isaiah as a bonus gift.)

  8. adamczar says:

    Seems like a nice guy, too!

  9. JF says:

    I think these Old Spice commercials are the start for this guy becoming a big star.

  10. stacyr says:

    I’m assuming he stood behind the motorcycle, which had stuffed legs?

  11. Etoiles says:

    I like the “I’m on a horse!” one better but yeah, I totally get a giggle form watching these Old Spice commercials.

    (My ex-boyfriend smelled like Old Spice, though, so I’m just as glad the man in my life now, my husband, doesn’t.)

  12. Jacquilynne says:

    Charming, and impressive, but just not as funny as “I’m on a horse”.

  13. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    I still miss Bruce Campbell in these.

  14. Rachacha says:

    Leo Laporte did an interview with the creaters of the commercial and they reveal how they did the first commercial:

  15. Sam2k says:

    I didn’t find this commercial nearly as clever as their previous ones, but I suppose that is just me. I actually decided to try their body wash a couple months back because of how creative their commercials were, but Walmart didn’t have it in stock so no dice. I do however use their body spray which is great. I was kinda annoyed that they discontinued the pure sport line but I found out I actually like Aqua Reef a whole lot better.

  16. BustedFlush says:

    Can anyone identify the motorcycle in the last shot?

  17. carbonero says:

    how does the water stay in the breakaway tub? looks cgi to me, too perfect the way it disappears. theres a lot not said in the making of this.

    • rekoil says:

      A lot of people don’t realize that for non-trivial stuff like water simulation and other effects that aren’t supposed to look fake, CGI is still very, very expensive. So if you can do it in-camera, it will almost always cost less.

  18. mrbofus says:

    It’s “Valyermo”, not “Vallermo”.