Heather M. Whitney, Ph.D., of Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, set out to estimate the acceleration of the infamous “Old Spice Guy” from television and YouTube ads. She found this inspiration while participating in a LivePhoto workshop here at Vernier headquarters.

Whitney used video analysis in Logger Pro to track points on the man’s body as he made a so-called swan dive into a shallow pool. The video presented a challenge to analyze, because the camera panned, and the Guy moved toward the camera during the dive. Nevertheless, using a clever technique to establish a scaling factor, she accounted for these changes.

Whitney then compared her estimate of the Old Spice Guy’s vertical acceleration with the acceleration due to gravity on Earth. Heather invites readers to find out whether the Old Spice Guy is phenom or fake on her blog.