Old Spice Commercials Were Not Funny In 1990

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For the first time in a while I felt old today. I was telling my kids about a time when there was no such thing as a cell phone or internet and how I had a library card and was forced to search through endless amounts of books in order to write a report for school. A time before Google search and the world wide web where everything is just a click away. I described a time where if I ever made a mistake while typing my report on a typewriter ( that’s the funny looking thing on the right) frightening scream would be heard throughout the city as I knew I had to retype an entire page of my report because there was no such thing as a delete button.

The last twenty years have brought such rapid and drastic change in technology that what was technologically “cool” a short while ago, is now unrecognizable and is treated like some archeological find from the dinosaur age.

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Technology is advancing at a speed that is difficult to keep up with and it’s only getting faster. Here are some tips on how to surf the ‘technowave’ and not get pulled down by the undertow.

 While a private individual might have the time to experiment and learn at their own pace, businesses cannot afford such a luxury. As technology advances, so does consumer knowledge and ability to control their shopping experience. Companies must adapt to a new kind of consumer, an educated one that can no longer be tricked into buying a lemon. 

Flashy commercials with people horseback riding on the beach or blonde women in bikinis just won’t do the trick anymore. Here is an example of one of those fun filled and totally uninformative commercials from 1990’s. 


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Was that a jeep being sold? 

Old Spice has used the old time ‘talk about anything but the product’ strategy in the most genius and humorous way.

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While successful and extremely funny, here is the 1990 Old Spice commercial and it wasn’t much different except for the fact that they were actually trying to sell the “You can smell like me” message. (Did you read that in his voice?)


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Technology and social media have stripped companies of their control and put it in the hands of the public. Businesses used to be able to boost their brand by building a fantasy around their product and convincing the public that when they purchase a product we would turn into some carefree surfer with a gorgeous girlfriend or a perfect family modelled after the Brady Bunch. The product being sold took a back seat to the fantasies companies were trying to sell.

Take this mobile phone commercial from the 90’s for example. All that was missing at the end is “I’m on a horse!”

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Absolutely no information was offered about the phone itself. That’s because Motorolla wasn’t selling a phone, they were selling the fantasy lifestyle that would come along if we would purchase the phone. In 1990 mobile phone companies had absolutely no interest to inform the consumer what the phone actually does. If used today, the only effect this kind of commercial would produce is bashing tweets and a company whose name would be hashtaged #ridiculous.
Here is a collection of mobile phone commercials from 2012. In complete contrast to the 90’s when commercials focused on anything but the product, today, mobile companies are trying to pump as much information as possible into a thirty second commercial .

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Some company’s have always mastered the art of advertising and stood above the rest. Here is an example of a company whose advertising genius is still leading the pack today.

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