September 12, 2010
Logical Fallacies in an Old Spice Ad
The advertisement I selected is for Old Spice body wash for men. The target audience is clearly female consumers, or men who want to impress their ladies. The ad is an NFL star speaking to women, asking them if their man smells like a man. The commercial shows the NFL star describe the “ideal” image of a man who smells good. The main point throughout the ad is that if men smell good by washing with Old Spice body wash they will smell and become more appealing to women. This ad, while catchy, had a few logical fallacies.
The first fallacy I noted was a bandwagon fallacy. Using a young, attractive NFL star with his shirt off to sell the product suggests to me and probably other consumers that since the NFL player is popular, the product must be popular and well liked also. In fact, in the beginning he asks, “Does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me? Yes (Unknown ).” The bandwagon fallacy is definitely used here because he is suggesting that men should smell like he does, because he is an NFL player, I guess.
Another fallacy I noticed was the slippery slope fallacy. As the actor asks women if they want a man who smells good, he dramatically appears in different scenes; in the wilderness, in the kitchen, in a hot tub and on a motorcycle. He makes an inaccurate claim that a man who smells good will be a man who is good in many other areas in life. It is a slippery slope because using Old Spice Body Wash does not create a man who bakes, builds, and becomes essentially a dream man.
A similar fallacy is making a hasty generalization. Sure, there will be women who smell Old Spice Body Wash and think it is a very appealing, “manly” smell. However, at the end of the ad are the words, “Smell like a man, man. (Unknown )” This, to me, seems like too big of a generalization to say that anyone who uses the product will smell like a man. As if using other products makes them smell like less of a man?
Unknown Old Spice Ad. U Tube. 12 9 2010 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLTIowBF0kE>.