The ‘Ultra Smooth’ Collaboration Behind Old Spice’s Newest Campaign

Still from Old Spice’s “Time Out”

Old Spice proves it’s possible to employ a ten-year-old idea (albeit glorious) to market a brand-new product. Teaming up with Wieden+Kennedy and Marmoset’s music production team, Old Spice redefines what it means to be, ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.’ Their latest campaign advertises their Ultra Smooth collection, employing the famously shirtless Isaiah Mustafa with his traditional gimmicks. But this time, the Old Spice Guy fixates on recruiting his son to join in on the Old Spice fun.

The campaign comprises two commercials set in two sweat-inducing scenarios at both the gym and office. Both needed custom music — that’s where Marmoset steps in with their in-house composers Greg Jong and Graham Barton.

Still from Old Spice’s “Office Visit”

W+K, being the masterminds behind the project, began searching for a ukulele instrumentalist who would transform their office scene ad into a tropical paradise. Joint Editorial’s Post Producer, Casey Wheeler, suggested recruiting Jong for the project. The connection was serendipitous as the two had recently been camping together with a group of friends, Wheeler remembering the assortment of ukuleles Jong brought on the trip.

Kicking off the collaboration, Marmoset’s Music Producer, David Katz, teamed up with Jong to begin creating the demo. Channeling the W+K team’s track references, Katz and Jong began creating a score that not only felt cohesive and seamless, but would heighten the right comedic moments.

“Since the commercial had different emotive moments, a tailored score emphasized those points in a way that a preexisting song wouldn’t have with as much precision,” says Jong. “Engineering-wise, both narrative parts needed to have the same tonality, the same timbres, yet also needed to reflect the different emotions.”

The back and forth editing process is a testament to the Marmoset team’s dedication toward getting it right — to understand exactly what the client wants, applying thought and skill to interpret a client’s vision into musical terms.

“Every time we deliver something, we make sure that we’re really thoughtful, and put in our best effort to get the project over the finish line,” says Jong.

Incorporating two different types of ukuleles, baritone and soprano, the final custom music channels an idyllic Hawaiian soundscape with a ukulele ensemble floating in the air. And nostalgia lovers will find contentment in knowing the Old Spice signature whistle jingle still plays at the very end.



Watch the W+K and Marmoset collaborations below:

Marmoset Credits:

David Katz – Music Producer
Tim Shrout – Music Producer
Marilynn Wexler – Project Manager
Greg Jong – Music Composer
Graham Barton – Music Composer

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