“Derek! Hang in there buddy.”

A man runs up the stairs, and bursts through a doorway to find his friend sitting in a chair, mindlessly staring at a television set, ominous music playing in the background. 

“This is not the end for you.” 

He waves a stick of Old Spice Swagger beneath Derek’s nose in an attempt to revive him. With a heave, he scoops Derek into his arms and charges across the apartment, leaping over a table full of snacks, knocking over a lamp as the food in the microwave explodes and blocks his vision, until he crashes through a wall. Just when he thinks he has successfully completed his rescue mission, the tie from Derek’s robe gets caught around the base of the TV, as it counts down to the start of the next episode.

“Just leave me, buddy.” 


With a heave, Derek’s friend rips him from his robe, breaks through the window with a ninja roll and rushes to the car where the rest of their friends are waiting to take them out.

“Old Spice – Never Let a Friend Lose His Swagger.” 

It’s All About the Melodrama

Last week Old Spice released a series of “episodes” to re-introduce their Swagger line of men’s hygiene products, and honestly, they’re brilliant. In addition to the ad mentioned above, the episodes also included the following scenarios: a first-time dad is going to bed at 8 p.m. when his friend decides to slide down a cable through his roof to steal him away for a night out; and another one where a man is working late, so his friend breaks into his office, slides across the desk, and ziplines him down to a party. Intense background music serves as the soundtrack in all the ads, amping up the intensity. 

Because these episodes contain outrageously ridiculous situations that would never happen in reality, the melodrama is a highly effective foil for humor and storytelling. 

Encouraging Viewers to be Their Best Selves

Not only do the episodes seriously entertain viewers, but beneath the melodrama there is some compelling messaging to the target audience. They encourage men to be the best version of themselves – the version that doesn’t sit alone at home watching TV, or go to sleep early on the weekend. While the rescue situations may be overly fantastical, the problem the ads recognize is a very real one. As this graphic from Old Spice indicates, statistics show more and more instances of guys neglecting their friendships for work or lone activities.

According to the graphic:

Some experts say that giving up on close male friendships is one of the first signs that their confidence – and Swagger – is being lost. That’s where Old Spice steps in . . . giving guys a wake-up call to keep their Swagger and their crew intact.

Old Spice is concerned about the personal happiness of their customers – they understand that a “Nationwide Guy Crisis” is happening – and they want to change that. When asked by the Drum to comment about the new campaign, Old Spice Associate Brand Director Matthew Krehbiel said: 

Our ‘Never Let a Friend Lose His Swagger’ campaign overly dramatizes the often silly reasons men sacrifice the ‘guy time’ that’s keeping important friendships alive and celebrates Old Spice Swagger as the secret ingredient they need to conquer life together … laughing along the way.”

Through the use of melodrama, not only does Old Spice convince its customers to buy their products, but they also remind them of the importance of spending time with friends. After all, a true friend would never want you to lose your Swagger. . .