(Even Implied) Sex Sells

Axe Deodorant proves that sex sells time and time again. And it does. Whether you are gay, straight, bisexual or even just ‘easy’, provided you have been through puberty – imagery that responds to the source of your attraction is going to have a positive effect on how you relate to the brand’s image. Sure, this is a target market that is an easy reach; it is very definitely easier when you have a product like deodorant that appeals to – and is used by (hopefully) a wide scope of people. And by wide scope I mean men, women or anyone with a pulse!

What makes this print campaign for Axe Deodorant even hotter is that they have taken all the abovementioned hormone-driven ‘theory’ and represented it without all the skin, thighs, cleavages, biceps and six packs. They are leveraging the fact that you are a human being with some sort of drive, and that you know, play, participate or at the very least understand the dynamics between – in this case – men and women. Above all that – they make you think. It’s not a long shot because you get it quickly, but they inevitably made me smile, nod and all in all I think these print ads work well. I don’t think they are trying to win new customers; they are doing what Nike and Coca Cola do so well: they remind their brand-loyal customers that they are part of something cool, current and edgy.

With an execution like this, you also don’t have to argue morals or negotiate territories where showing skin is taboo (like the agency who had to create this set). It’s a straight-forward play on a tic-tac-toe game and, for the guy who uses Axe? Well, he always gets the girl(s).

Other ads (Volvo, Lavazza and PS2) have taken it further and pose a different argument. These go straight for the… let’s call it “heart strings” for the purpose of this family-friendly blog, and appeal to a whole different sense of physical attraction and sexual drive.

How do you feel about these different ads? Which do you prefer?

Credits for Axe Deodorant: Advertising Agency: Lowe Mena, Dubai, UAE | Creative Directors: Mark Lewis, Marwan Saab | CGH / Art Director: Mansoor A. Bhatti | Group Account Director: Tej Desai |Senior Account Manager: Prashob Ravi

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