New Old Spice Video Game Wants You to Save the World With Dikembe Mutombo

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 29 2012 2:47 PM

Did You See This? Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World

Just when you thought you couldn’t take one more joke about the Mayan apocalypse, now comes Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World, a surprisingly fun new video-game-cum-marketing-stunt from the folks at Old Spice. While the 8-bit-style video game is packed with surprises—the less you know going in the better—its setup is reasonable enough: Mutombo is of course the world’s greatest defender, and so who better to turn to when the Earth needs defending.

If you need to know any more about why this isn’t just your typical marketing stunt, here are a few of the game’s principle selling points. First and foremost, of course, is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo. In addition to his sonorous voice work and wagging finger, the incredibly elaborate game also comes complete with such end-of-2012 elements as undecided voters, the Rebecca Black-like holiday tune “It’s Thanksgiving,” and, of course, “Gangnam Style.” (The game is soundtracked in part by the Psy song, making me wonder exactly how much Old Spice and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy paid for the campaign.)

Advertisement

The inevitable plugs for Old Spice are done in the time-tested advertising mode of poking fun at advertising (Mutombo discovers that “this superior deodorant product is also a jetpack”), so they at least go down easy. It’s an ad, to be sure, but it might also be the day’s best new way to burn a few minutes.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 11:10 AM Protesters and Counterprotesters at Moscow’s Big Anti-War March
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.