Lost in Translation, Advertising Edition

This one isn't mine. Mine got thrown away. I am sad.

I know that many people get confused by advertising, and I am here to help. The one we will unpack together today is an ad for Old Spice After Hours. I had a can of my own. Okay, it was my husband’s, but he used it all. I found it in the trash and made it mine. All mine. But he found it and threw it away again. And I got it back out of the trash. He found it again. I know. Threw it away. Why can’t I have nice things?  Now it is gone, and I am crushed. No longer do I have Exhibit One in my Museum of Stupid Advertising.

Buy another one, you say? Not possible. Old Spice has since changed the copy on the bottle. And I never got a chance to photograph its very stupidity. Enter the power of the internet. A quick search has uncovered the very words I seek, and now I share them with you.

The purpose of this particular Old Spice scent is to make sure you don’t come home alone. Meets US Clean Air Standards. Contains no CFC’s which deplete the ozone layer.

For real. And I am here to explicate its secrets for you like a poem.  I was not an English major, by the way. My degree is in psych, which makes me immune to the power of the printed ad and allows me to shine a light on them for you. Let’s take it line by line, shall we?

The purpose of this particular Old Spice scent”  – this ad was written by an intern who is using it as part of a research paper, the only place in the entire world where it is acceptable for a purpose statement to be so lame. Also implies that other scents have a different purpose, such as scaring away dogs. Or anyone remotely attractive.

“is to make sure you don’t come home alone.” Your old lady will be able to locate you in a dark and smoky bar by your stench alone.

Meets US Clean Air Standards.” But has been banned in 15 other countries. You know, the ones that actually care about the environment.

Contains no CFC’s which deplete the ozone layer.” No ozone layers will be harmed in the use of this product. Your self-esteem, however, will take a pounding when you do, in fact, come home alone. Invest more into cultivating a personality instead of buying questionable grooming products.  You might fare a little better.

It is sad, of course, that my Museum of Stupid Advertising lost its only exhibit. But I’m not worried. Old Spice has about 20 other products in their line to choose from. It’s only a matter of time until they produce another gem like this. Until then, my friends. Don’t be swayed. A little soap and water will take you just as far with the ladies.


21 thoughts on “Lost in Translation, Advertising Edition

  1. “The purpose of this particular Old Spice scent is to make sure you don’t come home alone.” I LOVE this!! I especially enjoy the “come home alone” part. It conjures up more of a bodyguard vibe than a sexy-time vibe. “I just smelled you, sir. Do you need to be escorted back to your home? Come now, let’s get you home safe and sound.”

  2. No worries–in America you can collect a LOT of exhibits for your museum of stupid advertising. 😉 I feel for your loss, though!

  3. I like the differentiation between regular and After Hours.
    “So, you want to take this back to my place?”
    (Sniff sniff) “No, you smell like potpourri drenched in seawater – but drenched during the daytime.”

  4. Your museum of stupid advertising’s loss is also a loss for the Museum of Stupid Packaging. Do they think that giving a product a phallic look people will buy it?

    I just discovered your blog. Great, funny stuff.

    • Apparently, it helps. This stuff is surprisingly popular. Also surprising – I didn’t notice the packaging at all. Going back to reading Pollyanna now…. and making plans for the “stupid packaging” wing of my museum. We’re going to need a bigger house.

  5. Pingback: Lost in Translation: Preschooler Edition | Becoming Cliche

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