December 16, 2014

Holiday Gift Advice: Avoid Spray on Manhood for Teen Males!

Many older men can remember getting Old Spice aftershave for a Holiday gift. It's a long-standing tradition that began back in grandpa's time and was handed down through the generations. Because it was such an easy guy's gift to get and give, Old Spice became the common smell of "manhood" for a couple generations.

I thought Old Spice had been lost in the sea of more trendy lines of men's fragrances now available. So I was surprised to learn the Old Spice tradition is being upscaled with a fresh and clever approach to a new generation of young males. Old Spice is calling it Smellcome to Manhood.

We all know young dudes will never be able to spray on manhood, but apparently, in addition to its other deficits, the adolescent male brain is unable to sort out reality from clever marketing promises. Even I have to admit the Old Spice folks have come up with a very creative approach to a young man's desire to be seen as manly.

Check out this video and watch for the gender interplay between the men and women, messages about emancipation from mom's world, and the hints of the benefits young guys might get if they smell right:

If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

The good news about this campaign is that it brings the idea of a young man's rites of passage into the present day conversation. The Old Spice folks even had a contest for a Smellcome to Manhood Kit that contained some of what they considered to be manhood essentials:

  • Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray - the spray on manliness stuff.
  • Old Spice T-Shirt – with a manly chest tattoo.
  • Old Spice Branded Earbuds - because real men isolate (?).
  • Bear Paws Meat Carving Tool - Well, meat, I guess, is for men.
  • Duct Tape Art of Manliness Book - No comment, I like duct tape.
  • “Scent Responsibly” Instructions - About time, see below.
  • Smellcome to Manhood Certificate - Because someone has to say you're now "A Man."

I love the "Scent Responsibly" instructions. The overall goal of the instructions is to prevent the juvenile over-spraying epidemic. That's where young guys tend to overdo a fragrance in order to increase the amount of manliness they are projecting into the world.

This holiday season, I'd pass on the Old Spice tradition and skip the gift of stink for your young man. Instead, make a commitment to teach young lads to hike or how to build a campfire, grill meat, fix a toilet flapper, or change a car or bike tire. Encourage them to take education seriously, to trust older men, be respectful to women, and feel good about being male without enhancements. There's a much longer list, of course, but the idea is to launch them on a real journey towards manhood and save us all from the adolescence fragrance cloud being marketed as spray-on manhood.

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