We see here the totally hot Old Spice Man, Isaiah Mustafa, the actor in those clever commercials that have now reached in the double-digit millions on YouTube. You know them: “Look at your man, now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me.” Aside from being hilarious, these commercials also are wise. They touch on the heart of what women deem romantic, and are a lesson in what men should do for the women they court.
1. Tickets to that thing you love. This one is a no-brainer and men should copy it exactly. Buying a woman tickets to a hockey game the man loves is not showing that he cares for his woman. Sure, it’s including her in his life, and that’s good. But buying her tickets to whatever it is that she loves is showing that he accepts that she has a life, she has likes and dislikes, and she deserves to have her tastes acknowledged. Whatever “that thing” may be. He might go with her and learn to like what she likes, or he might be making a girls’ night out possible. Whatever, it’s a gesture that is all generosity.
2. Diamonds. This one is controversial. Do all women really want diamonds? Probably not. Still, all women do understand that a gift of precious jewelry is proof that our men view us as precious. The only exception is the man so loaded with money that he can fling a Cartier diamond bangle at any woman without the purchase making a dent in his bank account. But we’re not talking about those men, are we? We’re talking about the men most women are likely to meet, Joe Averages who could stand to learn a few things about pleasing women.
3. You’re on a boat. This one is easy to interpret. A boat spells luxury to most people (I’ll except those of you directly involved in the fishing industry), and luxury during a romantic courtship is another proof to the woman that she is important to the man. Why else would he go to the trouble and expense of obtaining a boat, if not to impress her?
4. I’m on a horse. Horses used to be necessities, but now they are pure luxuries. The man who looks good on a horse has an extra dimension to his life experience, and he’s willing to take his woman there with him. Nice gift.
5. Swan dive into the best night of your life. Mr. Old Spice Man has been saying all it along: I will take you away from a drab, ordinary, workaday existence and show you true romance. Who can top that?
Of course a successful courtship includes more than romantic gestures. A significant subtext of the Old Spice commercials is the message that men can bump up the quality of their lives by improving the romance in yours. Is this series of commercials selling lots of products? Yes. AdFreak.com reports a 107% increase in sales of Old Spice Bodywash. As a commercial, it’s genius. But you knew that.
I haven’t touched on the cake the Old Spice Man baked himself in the dream kitchen he built by hand, and nobody actually said the words “hot tub” or “motorcycle.” These are additional dimensions whereby men can please women by bringing excitement into their lives or by making dreams come true. Are we asking a lot of our men? Yes. Given the labor involved in making a home and raising a family, which most women do in addition to working full time, more than ever, women feel we deserve romance. These commercials serve as a reminder to both sexes that romance makes life more wonderful.
Now look at your man.