By Anna

I smell like an Old Spice man this morning. Taking a swan dive into my brother’s shower at my parent’s house I found myself in a pickle of having no soap—the only option: Old Spice 8-hour remedy. I imagine if I was sweating I would smell like a lot of the men I’ve been watching acquire grass stains and road rash on TV, though maybe real men don’t use Old Spice at all—it’s the high schooler’s choice.

Though I’m not a fan of Old Spice its new campaign is effective: a muscular man with a deep voice doing “manly” things and speaking quickly. It reminds me of Amelia Bedelia or The Berenstain Bears where there is a series of events Amelia must do or the bears must conquer to teach a lesson. The Berenstain Bears bike lesson: He’s on a bike and must take the puddles and obstacles of cycling like a man (or a bear).

According to Dr. George Johnson (professor of biology at Washington University) humans learn best by simple repetition.

The Old Spice commercials give us repetition in content: the man uses the same tone of voice, the same speed and the same articulation from commercial to commercial. Just as the Berenstain Bear books used the same length of sentence to portray a series of events.

Whether we’re young or old we learn the same way and the media knows this: commercials are often placed at the same time between shows, the World Cup occurs every four years at the same time, Le Tour de France happens every year at the same time, and the storyline of your favorite drama unfolds in the same way every time (which you note because it seems as though House has diagnosed the patient correctly, but there is still 20 minutes left).

No harm comes from learning this way, but harm may come if the only repetition and serial information you take in is on this screen (or another). Old Spice’s quirkiness is effective and six hours later I still smell like a man.

Advertisements