This one proves you were mistaken. Before fifteen minutes ago, I was blissfully unaware of this ad. Now I’m forever tainted.
You can also see it on YouTube by clicking here or on the little YouTube logo in the corner of the vid.
If you would like to spare yourself, a brief synopsis: The setting is a social gathering – perhaps a party. The camera follows a man walking through a room full of people- we see his back. As he walks through the room, a woman comes to attention, stands up and trails after him with a determined look on her face. The man exits the main party room; the woman does too. They’re alone now. She is very close to him. The first (and only) bit of dialogue we get is her saying, “I just want to bury my face in your backside.” The man half-turns at her words, but before he reacts more than that, she turns him back around, bends him over and begins running her hands through his hair as she sniffs it. He looks partially stunned, partially confused and partially aroused while she does this. Then the commercial cuts to a quick shot of the product with a voiceover of “get some hair action with Axe shampoo.”
Wow. Just … I didn’t think Axe ads would ever leave me at a loss for what to say. So much is wrong with all their ads, but this one? How is this acceptable in any way? It’s squicky enough on its own, but imagine it with the gender roles reversed to get the full magnitude of how gross and wrong this tiny little fifteen second spot is. I can’t see how it’s okay because it’s the hot woman bodily forcing herself on a man and not vice versa, and there’s no actual, physical harm being done. It’s doing nothing short of glorifying assault.
Am I overreacting? It’s not like Axe is renowned for anything but sleaze. Appalling, obvious sleaze. This ad is horrifying.