A lot of pressure rides on a sequel. As consummate consumers of movies and books, we understand the anticipation inherent to a follow-up. A sequel must hit the right tone in blending a narrative’s history with its evolution. It needs to please the existing fanbase and take them somewhere new.
We at The Lift are super excited about our recent Old Spice spots, Office Visit and Time Out, because, as sequels to a popular campaign that ran 10 years ago, we think that precise tone was achieved. Smell Like Your Own Man, Man is a comedic father-son story in which the father (Isaiah Mustafa, star of the original commercial) attempts to influence his son (Keith Powers), who has drastically different taste, including preferences in grooming products. While both father and son use Old Spice, the son prefers to use products from the new Old Spice Ultra Smooth collection.
Both spots were filmed in Mexico and produced by Fuad Abed, in collaboration with Ritu Paramesh and Epoch Films, and directed by Matias & Mathias. Fuad described the elaborate productions as a “fun yet challenging job,” and one entirely dependent on working with such a skilled and committed crew.
“Matias and Mathias’ energy, hands on approach, and sense of humor were all key to getting this tough, technical job made,” Fuad said. “It was a pleasure working alongside Ritu and Epoch’s Melissa Culligan; the trust in having such a complex project take shape was great.”
The biggest challenge in Office Visit, according to Fuad, was working with so much water. “We needed to have Isaiah exit the elevator in a log, while the whole set split in two. Then, once he arrived at his position, a dolphin mock up had to come up out of the water while the log disappeared. After this, it all became a little simpler; we just lost a couple of walls and had a tiki bar appear out of the blue.” This mechanical magic was made possible by our SPFX master, Chovy.
Time Out came with its own set of technical challenges, which Fuad explained as “bringing in sheets of dry ice so Isaiah could skate on. Finding a basketball location that would allow us to lay this down, bring in cranes for the jazz scene, and last but not least, have a live horse that could walk on the court.”
The original Old Spice commercial, “Smell Like a Man, Man,” is considered the first branded viral ad sensation, having received over 105 millions online views and won an Emmy award for Outstanding Commercial and the Grand Prix for film at the 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The 2010 spot also starred a shirtless, towel-wrapped Mustafa riding a horse. For the fans who remember, we hope you enjoy these sequels as much as we do!
Check out the spots above and see more of Fuad’s work here.