Just as in many cases before the Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s launch spot for Axe Anarchy of 2015 — the first fragrance in the brand’s history with a version for ladies as well as dudes —, Axe was already known for a long time, and relentlessly bashed, for “giving men the edge in the mating game” which in the advertising has always meant portraying women as brainless, sex-driven fools unable to resist throwing themselves at the Axe-using men in their midst.
The introduction of a women’s fragrance levels the playing field, and lets BBH finally portray both sexes as sex-crazed imbeciles, free to objectify each other equally in willfully mutual attraction — in what turns out to be the most absurdly romantic campaign Axe has ever produced.
Other campaigns of the brand like Click, Metamorphosis, Academias Axe or Bom Chicka Wah Wah were also highly controversial — Vegaolmosponce’s Choques campaign caused 10% of the brand consumption increase. Apart from that, the rest of campaigns play the normal game of seduction between women and men, and this is why the product is been so attractive. In 2007, Argentinean Planning Association held the Creative Approach Awards and Axe won the Gran Prix. Some news referring to the brand says that the famous Axe Effect is real.
And real is certainly the fact that both men and women, especially the youth, like to play “the cat and mouse”. Axe just shows this aspect from the point of view of its target: men. From there, young men wish to have a good time with beautiful women. Axe exaggerates this game to make it funny and eye-catching.
According to AdWomen, we should watch these campaigns as a parody of a seduction game and not as a sexist usage of the men and women image. But this, of course, depends greatly on the degree of culture and intelligence of each of us.