Ubaid Zargar

Axe revisits its old ad trope, rehashes its seduction game

The brand took a step away from amorous communication in 2019, with a ‘woke’ campaign that aimed to redefine masculinity.

Men’s fragrances are all about attracting women, or at least, that is what the brands in the category believe. Axe has been at the helm of this ad trope - a few sprays and the girls follow (or fall).

But a few years ago, the brand relinquished its signature creative series, with a campaign that signalled a departure from this run-of-the-mill communication strategy. The ad film, titled ‘Ab Teri Baari’, featured actor Ayushmann Khurrana and singer Naezy, in an attempt to redefine masculinity.

With its new ad film, Axe appears to have re-routed back to its older identity. It had been a while since we saw ads along the lines of its original aesthetics, a date with Nora Fatehi doesn’t count. However, we’re back to seeing a young man being chased by women, thanks to Axe deodorant.

The first ad film sees a bored young man lying on his couch on a weekend, following women on a social media app that is designed to look suspiciously similar to dating apps. But, it is only after he puts on his Axe deodorant and goes on a run, nearby women start following him.

The other ad film couldn’t be more conspicuous in its proposition. A young man dealing with a grumpy old grandfather finds ‘heaven’ with Axe - women, sunshine, and a weekend to kill.

While Axe is arguably the OG of this game of charms, other players in the category aren’t far off in their advertisements. Old Spice, Engage, Wildstone, and many other men’s fragrance brands have had their spin on the same ball.

For Axe, the characters depicted are fairly young, perhaps men who’ve barely crossed their teen years. Which, from the looks of it, appears to be the target group for the deodorant itself. The ad films plug Axe ‘Dual Action’ fragrances, with a claim of 72 hours of scent retention.

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