When you think of Axe body spray, it’s easy to envision a spotty, horny post-adolescent dousing himself, so he can magically get a group of sex-crazed supermodel robots to fall madly in lust with him. Thankfully, times — and marketing campaigns — have changed, and the body spray’s latest ad works not only to shed the brand’s former reputation, but also to challenge stereotypes on what it means to be a man — in the most eye-opening way possible.
Their newest campaign, “Is It OK For Guys?”, wants us to know that as much as women struggle with their bodies, hair, weight, clothes and sexuality, men do too. They might not be subjected to all the judgment women face on a daily basis, but they aren’t exempt from it either. So if you didn’t think guys worried about certain things, you’re in for a surprise.
Based on actual Google questions, the ad highlights questions many men privately struggle with, from whether it’s OK for guys to wear pink, not like sports, to be a virgin, have long hair or be skinny.
It’s pretty awesome that the company that once taught guys how to clean their balls, and transformed women into animals on the prowl is now sending a different message to men; that they don’t have to possess so-called “manly” traits to be a man. Though whether the ad is powerful enough for people to start believing it is a whole other issue. Society has trained men and women to fit in certain roles, and these can be hard expectations to abandon, in ourselves and others.
“It’s time to stop questioning what defines masculinity, because there’s no one way to be ‘a man,'” reads the video description. “Just be you.” That’s all any of us want to hear, that it’s OK to be yourself. That should be enough.