Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

One of the most popular Netflix shows has come back for a second season, and this time, the streaming platform has partnered with the male grooming brand Old Spice to make fans wonder what people smelled like back in the medieval-esque era of "The Witcher." The answer to that question is probably not great—which is why the two brands decided to create a humorous musical spoof that’s meant to entertain fans of the show.

The video features people from medieval times lamenting the fact that Old Spice hasn’t been invented yet, which means everyone smells bad. The video is aptly titled “Ode to Smell.” According to Old Spice vice president Matt Kriehbel, the hit show is a great fit for a collaboration with the brand. The collaboration is intended to help show consumers how smelly people would be in a world without Old Spice.

When Old Spice and Netflix decided to work together, they had to wade through a number of different properties to finally land on the best-fitting one, which turned out to be "The Witcher." Additionally, the promotional campaign provided an opportunity for both companies to tell a unique and engaging story through an authentic piece of content that also features Witcher-scented deodorants from the male grooming brand.

Those Witcher-scented deodorants include some limited-time offers, with three adequate smells, including “Yennefer’s Underarm,” and three bad ones, such as “Geralt’s Bathwater.” Fans of the show will have no trouble understanding the way that these deodorants could possibly smell, given that most are named after the main characters in the show, who live in an era without running water or the comfort of a bathroom fully-stocked with hygiene products.

The promotional video itself features a number of characters in a tavern, singing a song about body odor, which was created by the ad agency Weiden + Kennedy, while produced and funded by Old Spice and Netflix. Aside from the promotional video, the campaign is also using a bot on Reddit that, according to Old Spice, will be the first time a consumer packaged brand (CPG) has a custom promoted chatbot on the platform. The bot is named SmellyBardBot, and takes the personality of the show’s own traveling bard, Jaskier, also known as Dandelion.

The Witcher itself is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, and had a guaranteed success before it ever aired, given the established fanbase of the role-playing game series under the same name, which is originally based on a series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The promotional campaign between Netflix and Old Spice is designed to blend the sensibility of both of the brands with some smart humor to connect with fans of both the show and the deodorants.


Ronn Torossian is CEO of NYC-based PR firm 5WPR.