WATCH: New Axe Commercial Ditches Machismo for Diversity
After ditching its previous ad agency, Axe body spray is also jettisoning their outdated version of heterosexual masculinity and is celebrating diversity in a new ad campaign. The first commercial features one man cross-dressing and two other men flirting in a bookstore. A print ad will show two men kissing.
The new commercial, dubbed "Find Your Magic," will air in 30 and 60-second spots on television. The ad's description on YouTube reads, "Who needs a six pack when you have your own thing? No must-have, must-be, fashion norms or body standards. The most attractive man you can be is yourself. So find what makes you, you. Then work on it."
"There's not one single-minded, one dimensional idea of masculinity out there," said 72andSunny's executive creative director, Carlo Cavallone. "We wanted to make it as inclusive as possible. We wanted to give to guys a sense of confidence and liberate them from stereotypical bullshit about what it means to be a man."
"If you look at all the vignettes in the campaign, it really represents a tremendous spectrum of masculinity," Matthew McCarthy, senior director of Axe and men's grooming for Unilever, told AdAge. "That includes personal attributes like hair, nose, body type, clothing type, lifestyle. We want to make it clear it doesn't matter how you define masculinity, which is very different than some of the storytelling we've done in the past."
A print ad called "Androgynous Kiss," features two men preparing to kiss with the tagline, "Be the sexiest you in the world."
The company decided to change their marketing direction after the brand became associated with teenage boys. Previous commercials have been decried by civil rights groups for promoting misogyny and homophobia. A commercial released in 2014 was the first to show barechested young men instead of bikini-clad women.
Watch the new ad below.