MS Recruits Old Spice Guy for Windows Phone 7 Ad

Dennis Faas's picture

When Old Spice deodorant commercials launched earlier this year, they featured actor and former National Football League (NFL) player Isaiah Mustafa.

Using quick-witted, edgy writing with cutting-edge computer-generated images, the ads brought lots of attention to the long-time and well-known deodorant company. Now, Microsoft is cashing in on the Mustafa fanfare, which they hope will bring the same attention to Windows Phone 7 in Australia.

Windows Phone 7 Commercials "Too Weird"

Some say the Mustafa ad is a reaction to complaints that Microsoft's first Windows Phone 7 placements were too weird, using characters who allegedly spent too much time playing on their cell phones and not enough paying attention to life around them (in one spot, a man ignores his scantily-clad wife in favor of his handheld device). (Source:

The idea that one should buy a phone so as to not use it seemed weird to a lot of people -- after all, if one spends a good deal of money on a technology device, they'd likely want to spend a considerable amount of time enjoying it.

Microsoft Marketing Struggles Well-Known

Microsoft's attempt to convey the message that a Windows 7 Phone is convenient and won't distract users from other parts of their life makes some sense, but tended to get lost somewhere in the glitz -- a similar problem felt when the company tested out those very abstract Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates Microsoft ads.

Surprisingly, not much has changed with these most recent spots featuring Mustafa. In the first ad found on YouTube, the star spends very little time talking about any phone in particular; in fact, the only indication that he might be talking about a Microsoft device is that he winks when the word "Window" is used in the spot. All in all, it's a fairly cheesy rip-off of the ingenious Old Spice advertisements, and features none of the computer effects found in those far superior placements. (Source:

"Hello There, Australia"

The script goes something like this: "Well hello there Australia, I'm Isaiah Mustafa, a.k.a the most talked about man on the Internet, a.k.a., 100 kilograms of lean man... I'm bringing my bungee smugglers down under to introduce to you, yes you, the biggest thing that ever happened with the way you communicate with, and connect to, the people you care about most."

Before ripping his shirt off to take a dip in the nearby ocean, Mustafa triumphantly concludes, "It's quick, it's easy, and there's only a short window *wink* of opportunity to see it." (Source:

Given the commercial's total lack of flair -- aside from Mustafa's own, innate charisma -- it's entirely possible Microsoft is using this ad to gauge interest in the actor. It may only be a matter of time before placements like this one get a face-lift for American viewers.

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