Axe has been known to release controversial ads and campaigns showing outdated views of masculinity. But in the past few months they have moved forward from portraying chick magnet men to showing men being themselves.
The Axe Effect has run its course and earlier last year they launched their new campaign entitled “Find Your Magic.” Their first commercial, produced by 72andSunny Amsterdam, veered away from macho models usually featured in these ads and put the spotlight on the diversity of men. In one scene we see a man in a wheelchair sharing a dance with a woman, while a man in heels vogues in front of a panel of judges. The ad then proclaims, “Who need some other thing, when you’ve got your thing? Now work on it.”
The whole purpose of this campaign is to break the masculine stereotypes and encourage men to embrace their true selves, whatever that may be. Executive director of 72andSunny Amsterdam Carlo Cavallone told AdAge, “There’s not one single-minded, one-dimensional idea of masculinity out there. We wanted to give guys a sense of confidence and liberate them from stereotypical bullsh*t about what it means to be a man.”
Keeping with the “Find Your Magic” campaign, Axe released another video two weeks ago highlighting how 72 percent of guys have been told how real men should behave.
The ad shows a series of scenes portraying questions that guys search online everyday. Like “Is it okay to be a virgin?”, “Is it okay for guys to wear pink?”, and the list goes on. In the end they ask, “Is it ok for guys to be themselves?” And the answer? Yes of course.
I think it’s about time to stop questioning if who you are and what you do makes you less of a man because you don’t “fit” into stereotypes portrayed in the media. By presenting real, everyday men in these campaigns Axe is showing that there is no one way to be “a man.” Embracing who you are, working on your strengths, and simply being yourself; that is where true masculinity shines.