By Webb Wright | Reporter

December 22, 2021 | 4 min read

In a parody of telenovela-style drama, Old Spice aims to expand reach among Spanish-speaking consumers in the United States.

In its first-ever collaboration with Spanish-language media giant Univision, Old Spice has launched a new ad aimed at expanding its reach among the LatinX community in the United States. The 30-second TV spot stars celebrity actors Angélica María, Arath De La Torre and Adriana Morales – a star-studded lineup that the brand hopes will leave a lasting impression among its target audience.

The plotline of the ad is, in many ways, classic Old Spice: filmed as a kind of parody of a soap opera – or rather, in this case, a telenovela – a husband (played by De La Torre) discovers that his wife and mother-in-law (played by Morales and María, respectively) are plotting to secretly use his cherished Old Spice Moisturize with Shea Butter Body Wash (the implication being, of course, that women enjoy using Old Spice products at least as much as men do).

After he confronts her in the bathroom, the woman played by María brazenly tells her son-in-law that she has every intention of continuing to use his treasured body wash. She also says she’s going to steal his bathrobe.

“We tried to style it after a telenovela, with big, dramatic scenes and musical and sound moments to make sure that we’re dialing up that tension… and sort of blend that line between drama and comedy with playful dynamics,” Matt Krehbiel, vice-president of Old Spice, tells The Drum. “And then what makes it funny is that that tension is all over a body wash.”

The campaign also highlights the universal insight that women are the decision makers in many relationships. However, the difference here is the fact that in many Hispanic households, the in-law also plays a major role, says Luis De La Parra, senior vice president, partner solutions at Univision. "As the campaign mirrors the campaign in English, it truly became unique for the Hispanic market once these two iconic stars played out the in-law dramedy. Old Spice really became the center of attention when Angelica challenged Arath."

The ad is the latest addition to the ‘Men Have Skin Too’ ad campaign, which jokingly portrays men as the victims of both an uncaring skincare industry and of greedy wives, girlfriends and mothers-in-law who are constantly stealing their Old Spice products.

“If you look at the body wash aisle, the deodorant aisle, there are all these choices for women while men, historically, have not had benefits of moisturization, exfoliation, things like that,” Krehbiel says. “This is what ‘Men Have Skin Too’ is all about.”

In its efforts to reach the LatinX community through this most recent ad, Krehbiel says that authenticity was a primary concern. To that end, it was crucial for the brand not only to partner with Univision – the largest producer of Spanish-speaking media in the United States – but also to work with a cast who would be familiar to their target audience. “By having that authenticity, our hope is that people feel like they can be themselves, they can feel like they’re in on the humor, and that it ultimately becomes something that they want to share with their friends.”

The collaboration with Old Spice has arrived during a moment of significant growth for Univision. The media giant reported a revenue increase of 20.3% in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter of 2020. In an official earnings report, Univision CEO Wade Davis said that the brand’s “outstanding third quarter results underscore the enormous opportunities that lie ahead for Univision.”

Old Spice expects this ad to resonate particularly strongly during the holiday season, while many families are gathering under a single roof – and potentially stealing each other’s body wash. Moving forward, Krehbiel says that the brand will be keeping a close eye on the number of positive comments that the ad receives on social media to gauge how well it’s being received by Spanish-speaking audiences. “When we see those, we know that people are feeling it on an emotional level, which ultimately leads to longer-term affinity to the brand.”

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