Friday, September 20, 2013

Taking the Axe Back to the Ol' Grindstone

So... blogging huh?  Yeah.  Back to the olllllllll' blog.  To write insightful things for the internet to enjoy.  Blogging.  Totally blogging.  So much stuff to write about.  Each thing more entertaining and edgy than the last.

Oh!  I have something!  Yay, an idea for a post.  Thank Jeebus, because I was this close (I am holding my fingers a very, very short distance apart right now) from just faking a seizure and that, it turns out, is extremely difficult to do in text form.  Still, gonna keep that little gem in my back pocket.  Also, no pictures for this post since I'm lazy with the cut and paste and don't want to incur copyright wrath when I'm just barely back to doing this nonsense.  Real content after the jump.

So, are you all familiar with Axe?  You know, the line of masculine hygiene products.  The ones that smell like horror mixed with leather and dead fruit?  Yeah.  Basically, Axe is terrible at the one purpose it is intended to serve, which is actually making you cleaner/more pleasant to sniff.  So, instead, they're focused on twin secondary purposes of fostering male insecurity and demeaning women.

And boy-fucking-howdy are they good at that.

Most Axe ads revolve around ridiculous concepts of masculinity.  The end result is to make their male audience feel inferior then offer to improve their now crippled self-esteem with Axe's product, which is practically certain to lead to lots and lots of the sexing.  You can find examples of their prior ads on the ol' Youtube if you want.  I refuse to link them here because they aren't paying me to advertise (nor will they ever, now; Sponsor Foul!)  But none of this is anything particularly new.  For years, advertisement has revolved around the 1-2 punch of making your customers feel like shit, then offering to save them from their new-found shitiness.  In a way, Axe is almost noble for being more direct with all that.

One might call Axe a goddamn hero.  You know, if one was a 15 year-old dude with a laptop keyboard in DESPERATE need of some cleaning and a clothes hamper his mom refuses to touch anymore.

But then, then, Axe decided they weren't Axey enough.  That they could be more Axe.  And they made this ad:

Man, oh man.  I hate this ad.  This paradigm, this "women are too hot for men to handle themselves" tomfoolery is, of course, the source of the "asking to be raped" horseshit that I have to hear from Fox News apologists every time some rich white guy is accused of having "non-consensual sex" with some poor girl who he's been feeding GHB poppers to all night.  Now, of course, Axe mitigated that by making it clear in the ad: "We're not talking about guys wanting to rape gals!  Heavens no!  They just crash their mopeds and ruin their meth batches!"

And that's, somehow, worse.  It doesn't erase the filthy taint of the R-word (I mean "rape," not "Roadhouse" which was terrible in its own right) because it still just ooooooozes from this ad like overpriced body spray oozes from a black can.  Instead, it just trades male incompetence for dangerousness.  Which, of course, was the point all along.  You can't call your customers rapists, but you can say they are stupid unless they buy your product.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.  Not only did Axe play the "not-quite-rape" card, they played it in a winning hand over a pair of "objectification Aces".  After years of serving their soul purpose of being sexy sex things we want to sex, women have gotten too good at it.  They are just too damned hot.  Well done, ladies.  Well done.  We're all very proud of you.  Thank God Axe has come along to allow us to keep our collective male shit so that you can keep getting hotter.  For a second there, we thought you might actually have to start spending time on reading or going to school.  Now, get those sweet asses back to the gym.

Axe, we salute you for setting advertising back to a point where even Don Draper would've been all, "Guys, let's think this through."  Slow clap.

Housekeeping matter:  I'm going to try to get back to regular writing.  I keep saying that and it never happens but, you know, aim for the stars.  Also, feel free to comment here or Facebook me about your feelings about me vlogging.  Cause I might do that in addition to or instead of this.  Only time will tell.

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