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Modern Parenthood

Old Spice 'Mom Song' hits close to home

The new Old Spice ad featuring moms having a hard time watching their boys acting like grown men, and smelling like them too, hits close to home for a mom of four boys currently engaged in a war of scents.

By Correspondent / January 7, 2014

Screenshot of "Mom Song" ad from Old Spice YouTube channel.

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A new Old Spice commercial and the “Mom Song” gives the mothers of boys a good laugh at their own expense, plus the chance to reflect on being careful what they wish for as with attractive scents come girlfriends and a loss of proprietary parental rights.

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Correspondent

Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.

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In the commercial a series of moms sing a lament over the fact that their sons have morphed into men, laying the blame on Old Spice spray deodorant. As one mom sings:

"Oh I didn’t see it coming but it came in a can
Now my sweet son sprayed into a man"

No matter which product your son chooses, deodorant is one of those mile markers that send a mother’s mind reeling.

“My son is becoming a man,” is a scary phrase for moms. For me it stems from that old wives’ saying, “A son’s a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter’s a daughter for all of her life.”

This Old Spice commercial plays on that angst a mother gets both from the transition to deodorant wearing by her son and the ensuing loss of him to “another woman” in the form of his girlfriend and later his wife.

Three of my four sons have entered the dating world with mixed results and it all began with the Old Spice that still appears on their dressers.

Mark my words, as soon as your son cares about how he smells, there’s a whole lotta girl issues coming up fast on the horizon. This commercial is funny because it’s true. Parenting a teenage boy at some point inevitably becomes a battle over good scents.

In our home, I’ve found it generally shifts in the middle of middle school from demanding a boy to shower daily to running from the eye-watering overuse of store-bought, sprayable products.

When our oldest of four sons, Zoltan, now 20, reached puberty he was not interested in how he smelled, but everyone around him was very much affected by his apathy.

So I decided to do some retail therapy to solve the problem by picking several deodorants at the store for him to try.

I was glad he went with the Old Spice “classic scent” that I remember my grandfather and favorite great-uncles wearing. They were true-blue traditional Old Spice kinda guys – old school, rugged men who fished, sailed, did woodwork, and gave big bear hugs.

For the past seven years, Old Spice has been the exclusive scent here (other than shampoo) until Zoltan went to college and came back a defector to Axe, sparking an all-out, name-calling deodorant war in our house. 

I am perfectly serious about this and so are they.

Their deodorant suddenly became an identity crisis.

Ian, 18, and Avery, 15, banded together as the ones “keeping it real” as “Old Spice dudes,” while Zoltan has been called a traitorous “Axe hipster.”

Quin, 10, worships Zoltan and in solidarity asked me for his own Axe deodorant stick. Because he’s too young I am going to have to see if they make soap.

Then the house will be evenly divided in what I have dubbed the “Daft Funk” battle.

As a mom and a journalist, I really can’t publicly take sides in a product battle. I’m just happy they’re all fighting over deodorants and not the same girl.

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