Saturday, February 23, 2013

Irresistible advertising

Many years ago (that's a very many years), here in India, television sets at home revealed a new brand, playing the advertisements (ads) over and over again - a men's deodorant (deo). The clip showed a man - sometimes suave, good-looking; sometimes nerdy, awkward - spraying himself with the deo and suddenly being transformed into a 'girl-magnet'. Women of all shapes and sizes and corners of the world converged on the man like nothing else mattered. The 'Axe Effect' had come to stay. 

The reactions from the TV watching audience ranged from amusement to scandalised shock to skepticism that it was just another phase in ads. The Axe series has endured the test of time, with the plot moving from women to even angels dropping from heaven with a whiff of the deo. I mean…seriously?!! 

Needless to say, since then the formula became the mantra in India to sell men's deos…yes, all and any men's deos. 

So many years of the same old thing… (yawn!) Either the advertising agency guys are in love with the idea or they're just too lazy to think of anything new. 


I am assuming that (a slight chance) that the idea works for them i.e. sale of deos are proportionate to the number of these ads being churned out (why reinvent the wheel and all that)

So, I decided to see if this jaded advertising is only an India phenomenon or a global one:

Nivea (Germany) - video - 
What is the fuss all about, incase you can't watch the video

Old Spice (USA) - video - (and many others in this set of ads). What is the fuss all about, incase you can't watch the video 

Shellys Card (Israel)
So advertisers, as you can see, there is immense scope to do interesting stuff. Please don't treat us (men and women) like lesser beings (so you think!) who do not deserve better. Of course, if this is something beyond your scope of creativity, I guess, we'll just have to continue switching channels when these ads come on, again and again! *appeals for help*

I did not come across even one Indian men's deo brand that broke away from the 'sex-sells' idea. 

*evil grin* Free idea: A testimonial ad campaign to get men (i.e. users of the deos) to relate how their life has been transformed with all those women in their lives!


Interestingly, I came across a few posts in a similar vein including the ones panning the sexism that's rampant in these ads. But that's a whole different topic of discussion.

The 50s and 60s didn't exactly fare any better. If anything it was even worse.

P.S. images are courtesy Google Images search. These are just my views and not an endorsement of any particular brand/ product, just incase someone thought otherwise. 

November 26, 2013 - some of the links were updated as they had expired/ become bad links.

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