That great Old Spice TV ad: 'I'm on a horse' and how he got there

The proof of a good commercial is whether you can stand to watch it more than once. When it comes to the Old Spice ad with that guy who talks rapidly to the women in the audience, presenting one fantasy scenario after another and concluding, “I’m on a horse” — well, it still makes me grin, even after seeing it during the Super Bowl, during the Olympics, and I don’t know how many other places:

The guy here is actor Isaiah Mustafa, and he does the best over-the-top line-reading in recent TV-commercial history. Mustafa has had small roles on Ugly Betty and NCIS: Los Angeles, and IMDb lists him as appearing on an upcoming episode of Castle as “Team Leader.” Clearly, this man deserves a bigger role in a TV show, fast.

If you’re obsessed or even just interested, there’s an intriguing — if rather long — video about the making of this spot, in which two guys from the agency that produced it, Wieden + Kennedy, claim there’s minimal CGI used. That’s right: Mustafa slides from the boat onto the horse in one shot:

Do you like this ad? Do you think it succeeds in making an ancient brand like Old Spice seem a bit more interesting? And what TV show would you cast Isaiah Mustafa in?

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  • Sarah

    I love this commercial. Every time it comes on, my husband is sitting next to me on the couch and my head is moving back and forth as the guy is saying “look at your man, look at me”. Hilarious.

    • dave

      His delivery of the “I’m on a horse” line is priceless. Perfection!

  • Wilson

    It’s actually funny. For a while the Manly-man stuff that Old Spice was doing for their commercials actually made me want to stop using their products, and I’ve been using Old Spice for a while…

  • lindsay

    cgi was used for the diamonds/ bottle rising out of his palm and to edit out the mechanism that put him on the horse. and i’m absolutely obsessed with this commercial, i think it’s genius.

    • mark in nyc

      actually if you watch the video it is not cgi but a fake hand that they pumped diamonds through. then cgi to composite that with the bottle rising

      • lindsay

        oh, so cgi was used to blend the previously filmed fake hand into the shot and to composite it with the bottle? thanks so much for clarifying.

    • Leon

      you can actually see the mechanism at the bottom of the screen if you look carefully its a round metal piece

  • JKBopinion

    This commercial is awesome! It makes me laugh every time and the hubby just shakes his head. But since I’m the one who buys his soap, I guess I’m the intended audience anyway.

    • Sarah

      Exactly, my husband was like “how would this commercial make men buy Old Spice?” and I said to him “um, hello, who here does the grocery shopping?” *grin*

  • Bobby’s Robot

    It’s a hoot.

  • Madelyn

    I love this commercial, it makes me giggle everytime I see it.

  • chilliguy

    He would have been incredible as a boyfriend of Elaine on Seinfeld.

    • shannon

      perfect!!!

  • Shelly

    The ad is brilliant!!! I saw it at the movie theater and my husband and I laughed so hard and remembered it was Old Spice and my husband can wear Old Spice and it actually smells great! Now when the commercial is shown, we turn up the volume and we have talked about it at work, so good job Wieden + Kennedy! The actor is fantastic!!!!

  • harry

    EPIC commercial!!!

  • The Dude

    I’m still partial to the Bruce Campbell Old Spice commercials.

    • dave

      Actually I thought his were kind of lame and this makes me wonder why his were so bad in comparison.

  • S

    I love, love, love this commercial… Look at your man, now look at me… If I was a dude, I would run out and buy Old Spice ASAP!

  • JLC

    Great commercial. I also love the sequel. “Did you know I’m riding a horse backwards? HYAH!”

    • harry

      LOL!!!

  • Mells

    I love it – I watch it constantly and it hasn’t failed to amuse me yet.

  • crispy

    Utterly brilliant. I hope they continue this campaign. I’m on a horse.

    • skiiboski

      What kind of WiFi service do you have? Because when I’m on my little pony, I get nothing.

      • crispy

        I have the new iBridle from Apple with built-in 3G receiver. But the AT&T network sucks, dude.

      • Jaye

        Wait – are you the skiiboski from American Idol??

    • Captain Obvious

      If he was riding a cow, it would be udderly brilliant.

      • crispy

        If he was riding a whale, it would be utterly buoyant.

      • Captain Obvious

        awesome :)

      • Joy

        If he was Barbara Walters, it would be uttawee bewillyant.

      • bma

        If he was riding Barbra Walters, it would be gross.

      • Stacie

        Look at your Barbara, now look at me.

      • Impudent Observer

        Wook at your Bawbwa, now wook at me.

        (thanks to all above for a much-needed laugh. SO nice to read comments that are not a nihilistic snarkfest!)

  • labrat

    Like everyone else here this commercial makes me smile everytime it’s on. If I’m in another room and I hear it on I have to go and rewind it on the DVR. My husband will even yell “your commercial is on” if I’m not around. It’s such a cute commercial and the guy is pretty hot, too!

    • Feiss

      Wait just one minute. “Your commercial,” labrat? Oh jeepers! Everyone, DO NOT USE OLD SPICE SOAP! It makes laboratroy animals evolve!

      • Impudent Observer

        Surely you meant lavatory animals?

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