Hello, ladies! Italian model Fabio is trying to muscle in on Isaiah Mustafa as the front man for Procter & Gamble Co.'s Old Spice line of men's body wash and deodorant.
The long-tressed Fabio, whose image has launched a few hundred romance novels, claims to be "the new Old Spice guy." In one video, he bursts through a poster of Mustafa, the former professional football player whose shirtless charm brought the world's largest consumer product maker and advertiser a big hit.
Behind Fabio's role is Wieden+Kennedy, the Portland, Ore., ad agency that also helped create last year's "Smell Like A Man, Man" campaign and online and social media sensation. P&G CEO Bob McDonald often cites the campaign as a multimedia success. Old Spice reaped attention from millions of YouTube views and interactive elements such as videos with Mustafa answering submitted questions; one of his replies suggested that President Barack Obama could boost approval ratings among women by opening speeches with Mustafa's line: "Hello, ladies!"
Other Mustafa lines from the fast-paced videos such as "Look at your man, now back to me" and "I'm on a horse" became part of pop culture.
The videos portraying Fabio as the new Old Spice guy seem heavier on the silly than the sexy, with Fabio rolling across a piano, leaving his unbuttoned shirt on in a tub while playing a series of instruments and letting his seemingly never-ending hair blow freely.
Fabio Lanzoni's other spokesperson work has included commercials for the butter substitute I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!
P&G spokesman Mike Norton says Fabio's Old Spice TV commercials are running now.
For those who can't believe it's not Mustafa, Norton assures that he will be back pitching for the brand.
"Stay tuned," Norton said Friday, declining to release details of Mustafa's next appearance.