If you watched last night’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter with Lindsay Czarniak, you probably saw Old Spice’s well-known spokespeople, actors Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa, sitting on the show’s iconic desk shirtless as they took over commercial time.
The stunt was part of an exclusive brand integration with Old Spice making for the grand finale of the brand’s campaign “Make A Smellmitment,” which debuted in August with “And So It Begins,” followed by a series of videos, culminating in the broadcast debut of “Truce.”
The commercial-time takeover was developed by ESPN CreativeWorks, ESPN’s in-house creative team, as well as Wieden+Kennedy. It was filmed in the Los Angeles, Calif.,SportsCenter studio on Oct. 23.
Front Row spoke with Crews and Mustafa about the campaign and their experience filming on the SportsCenter set.
You’re probably the first hosts to sit on the SportsCenter’s desk without a shirt on. How did that feel?
Isaiah: That’s amazing.
Terry: I was probably the first man with a blonde wig on there too! [Laughs] Which was ah-ma-zing! I looked at Isaiah and said: “We are in the holy of the holy!”
Isaiah: He said “This is it! We’re on SportsCenter!” We had such a respect and honor for the place. It was deep.
What was your reaction when you found out you’d “anchor” the show?
Isaiah: I was through the roof! I said “Shirtless, right?”
Terry: I couldn’t believe it. The best thing about the six-year [Old Spice] campaign is that the envelope has always been pushed. They work very hard to surprise people and give them a wonderful experience and I’m always so happy to be a part of this. Advertising as entertainment can be rare, so to make commercials that people are dying to see – it’s become a part of our culture. It’s wonderful.
How does the SportsCenter set differ from all the other crazy ones you’ve been in for Old Spice?
Terry: Just to see the lighting and everything… It [the set] was pristine, beautiful and gorgeous. The floors were all mopped and shiny.
Isaiah: It was like a cathedral. You knew that people that were in there were revered and respected.
Did you meet any of the other SportsCenter anchors?
Isaiah: We didn’t see any of them, it was so fast. We were laughing between ourselves and marveling at the whole thing. But we’d love to meet some of them. If you guys want to invite us to Bristol… [Laughs]
You’re more than welcome at any time!
Both: Oh, wow! OK!