Axe, Unilever's successful men's cosmetics brand, will change its marketing approach. Farewell macho clichés and say hello to the most diverse shapes of manliness. Social media reactions are overwhelming.
For years, Axe used the typically male stereotypes in its marketing campaigns, usually with a tongue in cheek, but not always that subtle. Now, the brand wants to do things differently with its new campaign, called "Find your magic". It is designed to help build a man's self-confidence.
It is almost impossible not to link it to another one of Unilever's brands, called Dove. That brand has used the "real beauty" them for its female consumers for years. Just like Dove, Axe refers to a man's unrealistic bodily ideals in its marketing campaign, like the famous six pack. You do not need that if you are yourself, Axe promotes.
“A time for change”
“We are now displaying a very wide spectrum of manliness", Axe's senior marketing director Matthew McCarthy told marketing magazine AdAge. "Men, certainly young men, feel the old archetypes are bullshit and do not want to be limited or defined by what it meant to be a man in previous generations. This is a time for change for men, full of new opportunities."
The international press and all social media channels have reacted overwhelmingly (positive). "Finally a male cosmetics commercial that speaks the truth", some say, while others say that "Axe has grown up". The commercial instantly went viral.
Axe has also launched a so-called "Instagroom" channel on YouTube, with short informative "How to" videos. Its new marketing position will be used worldwide, but Unilever was not able to comment on how Axe intended to do so in the Benelux. More information on that will follow soon.