I meant to post this new Old Spice ad a few days ago, but figured it was still worth doing so because even after watching it 90 billion times, this ad still cracks me up. Initially, I thought the ad worked well because it’s a bit weird, has a catchy jingle, and is funny.
Yes, those things contribute to the enjoyment of the 18 seconds. However, I’ve come to realize what makes this commercial so satisfying is that it’s structured like a great three act magic trick with a payoff in the end.
Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige opens with the following lines:
Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”
This is why the new Old Spice commercial is so great.