The Axe Effect

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A more appropriate slogan for Axe body spray would be ‘the sex effect’, but then again, they do have their commercials to give viewers the sex effect. Axe commercials don’t really beat around the bush at all when it comes to sex. The sexual innuendos depicted in Axe commercials are impossible to miss (obviously this is done intentionally). We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘sex sells’ but axe seems like they are selling sex, or at least selling the product that guarantees some action. Axe just doesn’t throw the pretty girl out on the television screen to promote its product, they throw the pretty girl out onto the screen to show the audience what girls like her will want to do to guys who wear Axe.
It is blatantly obvious that Axe commercials target males. Males tend to be susceptible to persuasion by scantily clad women and stereotypical fantasy-type situations. Axe commercials often play on the fantasy situation ranging from improbable ways to get a woman’s phone number to having sex with a random woman in an elevator. The depiction of such situations tells men that these things happen if one is to purchase Axe and use it. In the Axe elevator commercial, a guy who looks like a male model sprays Axe on himself then gets off the elevator while another average joe gets on and is accompanied by a beautiful woman who gives off the sexy secretary vibe. True to Axe commercial fashion, it is implied that the average joe gets a quicky in during the elevator ride. So, Axe makes up for sub-supermodel looks? Yes.
By using catchy sexual commercials, Axe markets its products to many different types of men.
Man A, will try anything to get girls, thus the sexual content in the Axe commercial drives him to try Axe. Even if Axe does not get him a girl, there is a good probability that he will continue to use Axe in hopes that one day, the situations depicted in Axe commercials will come true.
Man B, already gets girls and attributes some of this ability to his use of Axe. In this case, the sexual events depicted in the commercials reinforce the reason to purchase Axe.
Man C, gets a confidence boost by using a product that he thinks attracts women because of what he sees in Axe commercials.
The sensationalized situations that Axe bases its commercials off of don’t even have to be taken seriously for the marketing strategy to work. Do men really hit the deodorant isle and consider which fragrance is going to get them the most sex? Maybe, but probably not. More realistically, a guy would stand around in the isle for a minute or two starring aimlessly at the hundreds or cans of body spray and possibly grab the Axe. Why? Because of the cool “man” commercial he had seen a few days earlier showing a guy hooking up with hot random girls due to the irresistible axe fragrance radiating from his body.
Regardless of whether buyers of Axe bought it because they thought it was going to get them some ass or just because the commercials are provocative and entertaining, the rhetorical strategy used for sale of Axe products is sex, plain and simple.
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