lundi 14 mai 2012

First document for the press review

Here is an article about the use of sex in the "Axe Effect" advertising campaign (click here to read the article on www.battlecry.com) :


THE AXE EFFECT: SEX SELLS

Young men buy Axe to smell good and attract women.
Middle and high school boys across the nation have discovered “The Axe Effect.” Drawing them in with advertisements full of sexual innuendo and promises to seduce the ladies, Axe has quickly become the top selling male deodorant body spray.

Why has Axe become so popular? How has a product like male deodorant become a type of culture icon? The answer is simple and lies in the method of their advertising campaign. The message of Axe is this: wear Axe, get the ladies.

In television ads, guys who wear Axe are shown being attacked by multiple women. One of the slogans for their shower gel campaign is “How Dirty Boys Get Clean.” Another ad shows an empty shower with a sign that reads, “Occupancy by more than five persons is dangerous and unlawful.” One of Axe’s tag lines reads: It can happen anywhere. The Axe Effect.

The website is full of advertisements similar to those broadcasted on television and featured in magazines. Axe’s site details how the product works and gives this definition of the Axe Effect: “The internationally recognized name for the increased attention Axe-wearing males receive from eager, and attractive, female pursuers.” Above this definition, a guy is shown spraying Axe on his chest and underarms. The next picture is this same guy with a female on either side.

The website also has a Vixens game that features “naughty supermodels.” The Axe Unlimited site contains the game Mojo Master, self-described as the “fantasy game of seduction, where players are let loose in a fantasy world.”

This type of advertising has made Axe ragingly popular among young males. It plays on the insecurities young men have when it comes to women and promises to give them confidence and make their fantasies reality.

Unilever, the same company that produces everything from Hellman’s mayonnaise to Surf laundry detergent, first launched Axe body spray in France in 1983. In 2002, Axe was introduced in the United States. Since the initial introduction in the States, Axe’s presence has become unavoidable. More than just a deodorant, Axe also serves as a body spray. It is meant to be sprayed all over the body, not just the underarms.

Kevin George, Unilever’s director of marketing for U.S. deodorants, describes Axe the following way. “Girls want guys to smell clean and be groomed. The point is [guys] feel more confident. Axe provides them with the confidence to go out and ask a girl for her phone number, to get those digits.”

Sounds harmless enough, right? Wrong. Axe advertisements push the limits. The message they communicate is much more than “Axe will give you confidence.” Rather, the message communicated to young men through their ads is “Axe will give you sex.” They have cashed into the statement “sex sells” and won over a captivated teenage audience.

“I was watching the commercial, and there was this guy and he was mobbed by a bunch of girls and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s tight!’ So I went to CVS and bought it,” said Asean Townsend, a twelve-year-old boy who saw an Axe commercial.

It is important that we understand why Axe and similar body sprays are so popular. We also need to be aware of the effects of Axe’s marketing. This type of sexualized advertising fuels lustful fantasies among young men and encourages sexual behavior. It serves as a gateway to further involvement in pornography. Furthermore, through this type of advertising, women are reduced to objects of sexual gratification.

As with most issues in our present day culture, we must be willing to talk to the young people in our sphere of influence about things seemingly as trivial as Axe body spray. Not every young man who wears Axe is doing so because he thinks it will attract droves of women, so we must not make assumptions. However, we can start conversations about it. Ask your sons, the guys in your youth group, or other young men you know what they think of Axe commercials. Chances are they will have something to say. Then have a conversation with them about what the advertisement portrays and whether it is right or wrong.

Another way we can take action is by not buying Axe products. When we buy their products, we tell the company and the world that we agree with their method of advertising.

Regarding Axe body spray, along with all advertisements and products, it is important that we are aware of what we buy and why. Because culture today is at such odds with Judeo-Christian values, it is more critical than ever that we do not simply buy into everything we see. We also need to encourage our young people to think about their choices, even when it comes to what they purchase.


Sources: Washingtonpost.com, Revenews.com, Cpyu.org, Axeeffect.com




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