Our old reliable favorite, Axe perfumes for adolescent males, is at it again, taking heavily-researched stupidity-promotion and self-delusion to still new levels. According to the latest Advertising Age:
Axe ads have traditionally been about products that instantly turn women into lust-crazed vixens bent on coupling with Axe-wearing gents as quickly as possible. But in the first ad for the new fragrance Twist, a robot makes over the guy repeatedly during the course of a date in which the woman appears acutely interested only at the end. The ad is based on a concept co-created by consumers and ad agency Ponce (in late 2008, the agency was renamed Ponce Buenos Aires after Fernando Vega Olmos left to work on Unilever at JWT).
“Women get bored easily,” notes a version of the ad for Axe sibling Lynx in the U.K., which touts a “fragrance that changes.”
The reality, said David Cousino, global director of consumer and marketing insights at Unilever, is that all fragrances change, starting with a fresh, strong, usually citrusy top note that lasts for as long as an hour and aims to help cover the smell of alcohol-based propellants as they evaporate, progressing to a generally richer, milder mid-note and a longer-lasting and often subtler-still “dry-down” note. This is all old hat to fragrance developers and marketers, he said, but it was new and fascinating to the consumers in the development group.
“The guys linked that to the mating game and how guys are feeling that they need to constantly change and evolve to keep the girls interested,” Mr. Cousino said.
“Women get bored easily”? Really? In the 21st century, big businesses are still getting away with this?
And people wonder about the cultural impact of corporate marketing?