Old Spice Sailor - Clean-shaven, nice smelling sailor from the Old Spice
After Shave Lotion and Cologne commercials aired on television during the 1970s
and 1980s. In each commercial, a sailor wearing a dark blue wool jacket and a
cap saunters off a ship carrying a duffle bag over the shoulder. His destination
is always a good looking woman. As the handsome yet rugged sailor walks through
the streets, we hear an anonymous whistler softly whistling the Old Spice theme
Late night talk show host Johnny Carson spoofed the commercial on one of his
Mighty Carson Art Players skits. Instead of searching out a beautiful woman, the
sailor ends up with a guy. Procter & Gamble Co. (PG ) acquired Old Spice in
The Old Spice jingle was
written by Ginger Johnson. He wrote a number of very successful advertising
jingles, including several for Coca-Cola. The whistling melody and harmonica
playing in the Old Spice commercials was provided by legendary Jazz guitarist,
whistler and harmonica player Jean "Toots" Thielemans.
As a harmonica player, Toots is featured on movie soundtracks like Midnight Cowboy and Sugarland
Express. He also plays on and wrote the theme to PBS's SESAME STREET and his
whistling was featured in opening credits of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW/CBS/1960-68.
In 2002 Toots celebrated his 89th birthday.
TRIVIA NOTE: John Bennett Perry is the actor who played the role of the Old Spice sailor.
Born January 4, 1941 John Perry is the father of actor Matthew Perry (from NBC's
FRIENDS). A native of Williamstown, MA, John Perry studied psychology and music
at St. Lawrence University.
His film and television acting career included the
movies Midway (1976), Only When I Laugh (1981), I Married Wyatt Earp (1983),
The Other Lover (1985), Independence (1987), False Witness (1989), and Fools Rush In
Perry also had regular TV roles on such series as POLICE STORY, 240-ROBERT
(lead role), PAPER DOLLS, FALCON CREST (during 1985-86), and on the daytime soap
opera DAYS OF OUR LIVES, as well as guest-starring roles on CIVIL WARS, MURDER
SHE WROTE, and SILK STALKINGS.
In the 2010, Old Spice updated their mascot with a handsome, muscular black man named Isaiah Mustafa, a.k.a. the Old Spice Guy, who rode—both a horse and a motorcycle—to fame in a series of popular commercials. Mustafa portrayed a tongue-in-cheek macho man who said things that women would want to hear, or. at least, what we think women want to hear.
According to Mustafa in an interview, "The Old Sice Guy knows he’s full of, you know, whatever. But he also knows he can get away with it. He’s one of those guys in the mold of an Indiana Jones or James Bond, which you don’t see much anymore.
The ad spot “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” reportedly was viewed more than 25 million times.