If "imitation is the sincerest for of flattery," the producers of the current Old Spice campaign must be feeling good. Not only have the one-shot commercials — in which intensely deadpan hunk Isaiah Mustafa urges men to spurn lady's body wash and start using Old Spice — garnered advertising industry awards, an Emmy nod, and nearly 100 million YouTube views, they've spawned a vast array of parodies, spoofs and remixes (if not, it seems, a bump in Old Spice sales.) The ads range from the cloyingly cute — an 11-year-old boy standing in for Mustafa — to the geeky — a riff on an iPhone commercial. Here are our four favorites:
1. Study like a scholar, scholar
This shot-for-shot parody touting the academic benefits of studying at Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library boasts impressive production values, and there's a reason for that. Two full-time employees and 10 Multimedia Production students reportedly spent nearly a month shooting and editing the 54-second piece. There's no shortage of talent in front of the camera either. BYU student Stephen Jones, who's reportedly quite active in a campus comedy troupe, delivers lines like "hello scholars, look at your grades, now look at mine" with just the right levels of vim and vigor. No wonder the video has over 1.2 million views on YouTube.
2. My girlfriend left me for the Old Spice guy
In this alternate-reality spoof, Los Angeles comedian and YouTube "personality" Toby Turner plays a guy whose girlfriend supposedly left him to take a sunset cruise of the Galapagos with the real Old Spice man. With his farmer's tan and relatively modest muscles, Turner is no match for the strapping Mustafa, but makes up for it with the charming bravado of his delivery.
3. The sausage your sausage could taste like
In this risque parody that gets weirder and increasingly funny as it goes on, a crudely animated melancholy sausage named Mr. Happy hawks his spicy dijon mustard. Like the original, the ad opens with a shower scene, then segues inexplicably to a goat on a boat, closing with the line "I'm on a bun" (a riff on the original's "I'm on a horse"). If you feel inspired by Mr. Happy, you're in luck. There's an iPhone app that allows users to make their own Mr. Happy creations.
4. Mike Relm remixes Old Spice
San Francisco's Mike Relm is relatively new on the YouTube scene — he's had his own channel for less than a month — but he's already generating plenty of buzz with this video, which has accrued nearly 300,000 views. For this non-traditional parody, Relm recuts the original footage and sound; it's so catchy, you almost want to get up and dance to it.