Isaiah Mustafa | 'I'm Back' | New Old Spice Video Gears Up 2011 Internet Campaign

Isaiah Mustafa is back with a new Old Spice commercial. While women are gaga with Mustafa, the brains behind the Old Spice revival are womanly ones.

image by Taylor Castle | Fast CompanyMeet Alex Keith, one of those chosen women who can pass for a man, based on reading her resume. Very clever parents, we’d say. 


I suppose we shouldn’t give Alex Keith all the credit. Eric Baldwin, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy certainly plays a big role in the stunning success of the Old Spice campaign which has blasted it to the top of the charts on You Tube and is considered the most successful viral campaign in history.

Procter & Gamble’s Alex Keith has lead the marketing for the company’s battle against Unilever’s Axe brand, becoming a marketing director after spending her first seven years as a chemical engineering graduate working on the manufacturing and logistics side of the P&G business.

“On Friday I went from being the go-to person on everything in product supply to on Monday really not knowing how to do anything” as an assistant brand manager, she says of the career change. “I think it was a personal trait of mine, which is a classic P&G personality trait, that it made me want to learn it all the faster,” Keith told Ad Age, when she was named a 2006 Woman to Watch.

Fast Company profiled Keith in 2009’s Old Spice Smells Like a Billion Bucks.

People often ask the quick-study, married, marathon-running executive what a woman knows about selling deoderant to men. Her response: “I know that as a guy, you can have great hair and great clothes, but if you stink, game over.” It may be armpit science, but it’s not rocket science. “

We decided to take a look at the Axe advertising. Note the key difference that the brand makes no effort to attract women as moms or wives buying the brand for their men. By contrast, that’s exactly where Alex Keith has gone with her pitch, without turning off men.

Axe | Clean Your Balls Commercial