“Stairs” — Ads We Didn’t Skip

Ad: “Stairs,” Old Spice

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Why: I love Terry Crews, but if he’s too busy being an Expendable to do Old Spice commercials, I also love robots. Especially robots who so gleefully parade up and down the uncanny valley.

Oh, Old Spice Robot, why do you mock us so? Is your grim joke at humanity’s expense meant to make us reflect on the precariousness of bipedal locomotion, our continuing dependence on primeval mate selection cues? Or are you satisfied to simply make us feel unsettled, presenting us with a strange form that is both less than human and more than human?

Old Spice Robot, you’re an interesting counterpart to the graceful power of Terry Crews’s shiny body — one spokesman who shows us what an Old Spice user can aspire to be, and another who shows us what the Old Spice product line can theoretically do for the most repulsive of us.

Will I buy what they’re selling?: Yes. Although, to be honest, I’ve been a loyal Old Spice customer for the last 20+ years, so this commercial won’t change my current behaviour. But maybe I’ll be less likely to stray in the future if it seems as though Old Spice and I share a similar outlook on the role robots will play in society.

– Drew (@drew_ng)