Once famous for being unrepentently stereotypical and sex-obsessed, Axe is dramatically evolving. A global campaign launching in the US in a few days encourages guys to ignore stereotypes and express their individuality. It's still about getting laid, of course, but now it's about doing so by letting your freak flag fly. And it consciously steps away from traditional notions of male-ness and toward inclusion: There's a gay meet-cute in the 60-second spot below, and surely this is the first Axe ad to commend a young man for "Rocking those heels".
The campaign, based on research in 10 countries, will roll out globally over a year, featuring "real men with unique and unexpected personal style". One interesting element: Instagroom, a series of short tutorials that "instantly answer the real grooming questions guys ask Google". Here's an example, 'How to quiff':
Along with 72andSunny, the campaign will be delivered through Ponce and BBH. Axe has also partnered with Vice to create "content celebrating modern male individuality".
Whether true individualists will embrace a mass-marketed product line with a baggage of sexism remains to be seen, but Ad Nut applauds the effort.
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