Last year's advertising sensation will soon make its 2011 debut, as Old Spice's suave, shirtless star returns in round three of his commercials for the Procter & Gamble Co. brand.
In an indicator of the campaign's popularity, there first is a 30-second "coming attractions"-type trailer going online Wednesday which takes you beyond former football player Isaiah Mustafa's muscular torso — to his "striking brown eyes," if he does say so himself.
In another effort to keep the buzz going for the YouTube hit, a yet-to-be-named "superfan" will get to debut the commercial on his or her own social network page or feed, sometime before Super Bowl Sunday.
The first of three commercials in the new promotion will start running on television Feb. 7, the day after the Super Bowl.
"We felt like we could build some excitement behind this latest launch, letting people know we're bringing Isaiah back, and continue to reward our fans across social media," said James Moorhead, brand manager for Old Spice, promoting a new collection of body washes, sprays and deodorants as a "scent vacation" that evokes exotic locales such as Komodo and Fiji (think "grass skirt.").
The first commercial a year ago with Mustafa, towel-clad in a shower and urging women to "Look at your man, now back at me," has generated tens of millions of online views and a new catch-phrase: "I'm on a horse." The second campaign last summer included 186 related videos in which Mustafa responded personally to digital queries from users including Ellen DeGeneres and Alyssa Milano.
For ABC's "Good Morning America," he suggested that President Barack Obama could improve standing with female voters by wearing only a towel and beginning his State of Union speeches with "Hello, Ladies!"
Obama didn't heed that advice Tuesday night. No matter, the "responses" campaign in its first week scored 21 million views, accounting for eight of the most popular 11 YouTube videos at the time.
The campaign and its ad agency, Portland, Ore.-based Wieden+Kennedy, won a shelf full of top advertising awards, while P&G said sales jumped by double digits for the seven-decade-old brand.
Can the new ad measure up to that success?
"Inherently, there's pressure when something has a lot of success and then you're trying to follow it up," said Wieden's Eric Kallman, who created the ad with Craig Allen.