The Axe brand’s advertisements and commercials are notorious for being androcentric and sexist for many years. The advertisements itself usually portrays women becoming irresistibly attracted to any man who sprays himself with Axe products. Such androcentric ideology is the foundation of most Axe commercials. With added sex appeal of stereotypical beautiful women and a splash of provocative imageries, the Axe advertisements successfully attracts their targeted audience (15 to 25 years old males) into buying their scented products. Axe also advertises its products as a symbol of sexual attraction and confidence, by using their product, one does not only gain the affection from the ladies, but also an ego boost. Over the years, the theme of their advertisement remains essentially the same; an aphrodisiac seduction to girls.
Axe has always grasped the essence of advertising commercialism perfectly: sex sells. The general public tends to be more attracted to sensual seduction than other strategies of advertisements. Axe fully utilizes such advantage and sells their products based on sexual appeal. In the advertisement above, even though there are no direct imagery of a man and a woman, the entire ad converts a sexually suggested message. First, it is set in a shower where the curtain are dragged off its hooks with force, and beside each hook, there are female names, with a message at the bottom saying ‘get dirty.’ Most people (generally 15 and above) will understand this advertisements as the three female names are the three women the man had sex with in the shower when using Axe products. Simple as that, and once again, Axe sticking to its fundamental value of women being sexually attracted to men.
In this advertisement, I only see two entities and a one way relationship. It only shows a relationship where the man only wants to be with women, or only wants to have women attracted to him. This suggestion is clearly stated with the cliche feminine names and the message at the bottom saying ‘axe shower gel for men,’ such gives out a message where only heterosexual men can use this product. Another problem I see with this advertisement is the environment. First of all, a shower should not be the ideal place for sex due to it is a poor condition for safety, it is very slippery and judging from the teared shower curtains, it can lead to poor support and cause injuries. The advertisement clearly do not see it as a problem as it suggests at the bottom to ‘get dirty,’ avoiding the safety of the environment and the need for protected sex.
My Jammed Ad
In my newly jammed advertisement for the Axe brand product, I fixed two areas where I found problematic. First, it is the suggested message delivered to the public as to who should be using this product and what this product will deliver to you. I strongly believe the message should be gender neutral. In today’s world, it is no longer a heterosexual exclusive society, heterosexuals might be the vast majority of the population, but a growing number of different sexualities are emerging. Axe being a brand that focuses on sexual attraction to promote their products, they need to cater to the minority sexualities as well. So I kept Cindy as a representation to the females as it being a common female name, I changed Michelle to Peter as Peter is considered a cliche male name, and I changed Lisa to Taylor as Taylor is a unisex name, so it can suggest the person being a male or female. This change suggests whoever is using this product and no matter what is your sexual preference, the gender you are attracted to will be equally drawn to you, it will not only be restrained to one gender or sexual preference. I also changed the message at the bottom from ‘axe shower gel for men’ to ‘axe shower gel for you,’ indicating you do not have to be a male in order to use this shower gel. This product should be universally available to all gender and sexes, a woman who wants to use this product should get the same message as a man who wishes to use this products, both for the ultimate goal to attract the sex they desires.
Second change I made is to the general safety that the advertisement portrays. I brightened the entire picture to show the environment more clearly and the importance of a bright setting. As well, I changed the message at the bottom from ‘get dirty’ to ‘safety first.’ Indicating not only the safety of getting intimate in the shower setting where it can get slippery, also sex safety, the need for having protected sex. In all, the advertising should be more vibrant and less dark, showing that it is fun to use the product and attracting your desired partner, but in the end, have the respect for safety.