Old Spice is offering a high-energy twist on the classic Yule log footage for the holidays this year as part of an unusual advertising technique. Old Spice's Yule log doesn't just burn — it explodes. For an hour. Best of all, during that hour, Terry Crews appears periodically within the flames and shouts a few words before exploding along with the rest of the hearth.
The ad is certainly a unique gamble to get the attention of consumers, but there's no reason to think it won't work. Old Spice's ads have found their tone recently: unapologetically over the top. The company has traded in the absurd all year, from the para-sailing octopus to the sky-writing alpha dog, they've somehow branded themselves as "exciting" deodorant.
The inclusion of Terry Crews in the Yule log footage is well-timed. Crews has been part of Old Spice's advertising for a long time now, ever since he appeared to one-up Isaiah Mustafa, the previous hyperbolic figure in their commercials. Crews has been good-natured about his role in the ads, unlike many actors, who seem embarrassed to do commercials.
Yet it's hard to say who gains more from the relationship now, Old Spice or Crews. An actor of Crews' status typically makes a fortune off of advertisements, which is why they do them in the first place. However, Crews' visibility in the media is at an all time high, ever since he accused an executive at his former talent agency of sexual misconduct. As the case progresses, Crews will continue to be talked about in the media, and Old Spice will benefit from that publicity.