29th August 2012


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Terry Crews returns as the Old Spice guy. And this time you can actually play him.     Image: Terry Crews drums up some noise for Old Spice.   Eyebrow-raising, amped and plain insane – this is the least we have come to expect when Terry Crews and director Tom Kuntz are involved in an Old Spice ad.   In the brand’s latest spot for its Danger Zone range, “Muscle Music”, an infinitely loud Crews in nothing but a small pair of red shorts is sat with musical instruments in a room full of other props that look they belong on the set of a children’s TV programme that hasn’t passed health and safety regulations.   Crews is covered in EKG sensor pads which are rigged to instruments including a drum kit, electric keyboard, bucket and a saxophone that expels flames when played. When he flexes his muscles, you get music (we use this word in a very loose context) accompanied by Crews’ inane ramblings à la scary boot camp instructor.   The real prize, however, is once the solo jam spot ends. The video player becomes interactive and allows the user to have their own go at manning the orchestra using their keyboard device, with the option to even record the masterpiece filled with hats, sausages, animal noises and Crews reminding everyone about the digital spin of the spot with a “we on the internet!” sound bite.   Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, teamed up with VFX company, The Mill, and editing, house Mackenzie Cutler as well as director Tom Kuntz who is by now well-known for eccentric advertising for clients such as DirecTV and Skittles (subscribers can check his ads out in the online archive). He is of course the director behind “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and others in the Old Spice collection.   W + K worked directly with, Vimeo on the digital experience which has never been done before using the video sharing platform. The custom experience lives within the Vimeo player allowing users to play Terry Crews’ one-man band regardless of whether it is embedded on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or blogs.   “It was all about timing,” says The Mill Creative Director Phil Crowe. “Making each muscle movement perfectly synced to the sound and instruments in a believable and engaging way proved quite the challenge in an over 1800 frame clip.”    “Designing for an interactive environment poses some unique challenges, which really pushed forward our creative powers as a team in new and innovative ways,” elaborates The Mill 2D Lead Nick Tayler. “Every part of the project from concept, through the shoot and execution was tailored to create the most entertaining and engaging interaction possible for our audience. This was an incredibly satisfying challenge to complete, and a lot of fun for the whole team."    The interactive element is also attached to the end of every user-generated video allowing for other viewers to carry on the chain – making this a likely viral candidate.   Vimeo is not the first video platform that has allowed users to join in with ad campaigns. You may remember the notorious Hunter and Bear as part of Buzzman, France’s YouTube “Tippexperience” for Tipp-ex. The campaign returned with a sequel earlier in 2012 with “Tippexperience 2”, allowing users to time travel with the character duo.   Video: Wieden + Kennedy "Old Spice Muscle Music". Wait for the ad to finish and use your keyboard to flex Terry Crews' muscles.   Video: Old Spice "Blown Mind" by Wieden + Kennedy also starred Terry Crews.

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