Isaiah Mustafa, ‘Old Spice Guy,’ returns in targeted UK ad

It has been over a decade since Isaiah Mustafa entered the heart of the United States with his groundbreaking 2010 Old Spice ad, “The Man Your Man Could Smell”.

In the years that followed, he was largely absent from the brand’s advertising until Wieden + Kennedy Portland, the agency behind his very famous first spot, brought it back in 2020 as the father of a less histrionic spokesperson for a new generation.

It is also back on screens in the United Kingdom, this time in the form of animation, thanks to a spot from the Isobel agency. Aimed at gamers, the spot will appear in mobile games and on YouTube.

Isobel said he won the Old Spice account in the UK and Ireland in a 2020 pitch and has more work to do this year. Wieden + Kennedy Portland retains the brand’s American work.

For April Fool’s Day 2020, Mustafa surprised two agency creatives falling into what they thought was a video call with an Adweek editor. In that conversation, he opened up about the journey that took him to play the role – and all the twists and turns in his career since.

“From around 2012 to 2015, I didn’t really have any direction,” he says. “I didn’t have a show I was at. I was still under contract with Old Spice, but there weren’t any new spots or anything. I was just floating there. And it can work on you. You start to question yourself: what am I doing? What am I doing wrong?

But Mustafa quickly found new heights of fame, including a starring role in Hollywood blockbuster It: Chapter 2.

Here’s a look at the announcement that started it all, followed by credits for Isobel’s new spot:


Brand – Old Spice, Procter & Gamble

Yasmin O’Neal – Director of Skin / Personal Care
Karunesh Jigyasu – Old Spice Brand Manager

Agency – Isobel
Executive Creative Director – Rob Fletcher
Creative Team – Tom Dyson and Lance Boreham
Agency Producer – Amy Hansen
Managing Partner – Jamie Williams
Social Media Director – Zoheb Raza
Senior Account Manager – Maxim Robinson

Media agency – Publicis One
Production company – Thomas Thomas Films
Director: Alex Bland
Executive Producer: Philippa Thomas

Producer: Trent Simpson

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