By the Numbers: How Do Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa Really Stack Up?

A career-spanning comparison of the Old Spice rivals

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For years, Old Spice has used quirky spokespeople—robots, moms, fingers, or whatever else the brand could cook up—but Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa, with their wildly different personas, are certainly the two most memorable.

Old Spice's new campaign from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland pits the two pitchmen against each other, and the agency has just released the second installment in its Mustafa-Crews showdown:

Aside from their onscreen charm, how do these spokesmen stack up? We decided to put together a tale of the tape for both. Let's dig in:

Time with the brand:

Old Spice tapped Mustafa and Crews in 2010 for its "Smell Like a Man, Man" and "Odor Blocker" campaigns, respectively. They've both worked for the brand for five years, so that's a wash. 

Winner: Tie

Campaign appearances:

Mustafa has been in seven campaigns for Old Spice, with many videos included in each digital push. Crews, on the other hand, has been in five campaigns.

Mustafa's digital campaigns also have included more videos released at the same time, making his total view count higher than Crews'.

Winner: Mustafa.

Football career:

Prior to acting, both Mustafa, now 41, and Crews, 47, were affiliated with the NFL.

However, Mustafa (a starting wide receiver for Arizona State)  mainly served on practice squads for teams like the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns before dropping football to pursue acting around 2000.

Crews, a defensive end for Western Michigan, was an 11th round draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams, after which he played for the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. In total, he played 32 games in the NFL.  

Winner: Crews.

Acting career:

Both branched out into entertainment at the end of their football careers. Crews has clearly been more successful in that arena, with 69 IMDB credits compared with Mustafa's 36.

Crews has also scored more high-profile Hollywood gigs, appearing in action series The Expendables, Arrested Development and memorable roles like Idiocracy's President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. 

Winner: Crews. 

Advertising awards:

Mustafa's inaugural "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ad quickly became one of the most iconic ads of all time, sweeping many of the industry's top awards. It won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Commercial in 2010, the same year it took top honors at the Cannes Lions with a Grand Prix in Film and a Gold Pencil from The One Show. Crews' spots, while popular, haven't reached such levels of industry acclaim.

Winner: Mustafa

Social media stardom:

On social media, Crews has 443,000 Twitter followers and 377,000 Instagram followers. Mustafa's got 101,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 31,000 on Instagram. It's barely a contest.

Winner: Crews. 

Final score: 

  • 3 points for Crews
  • 2 point for Mustafa
  • 1 tie

In the end, it seems Crews wins out. But the numbers obviously don't tell the whole story. Which one would you say is the best of the brand's pitchmen?


@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: August 13, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/terry-crews-vs-isaiah-mustafa-how-old-spice-pitchmen-stack-head-head-166372/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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