Sunday, February 3, 2008

Axe Commercial

The Advert that I'm analysing is one of Axe Deodorant Spray's...interesting commercials, viewable on here: Now, every Axe advert I've seen (even the old skool ones in South Africa) were...rather sexist, objectifying women and all that. One man, hordes of horny women...
This ad I've chosen, however, now seems to tackle religion.
The manly man wearing the deodorant is a Christian sort of missionary, similar to a Mormon. However, the guy doesn't have a partner with him, and Mormons usually travel in pairs. Nonetheless, this guys is pretty close to Mormon-looking. He drives down the road and begins to attract all the young, mid-2's women. There's flirtation going on, and at the end when he opens his Bible, there's an Axe hidden inside. There's one of two things I can see from this. First, the guy is a good Christian/Mormon on his daily mission. This is my initial reaction. The women are the tempters. They tempt him and he eventually falls. This alludes back to Paradise, Adam-and-Eve stigma of women as tempters and men as sad victims.
However, the other thing that I began to realize is the possibility that the man is a disguised tempter. The women are easy prey. The man comes in, dressed as a good Christian/Mormon, but the message he really is trying to spread is temptation, therefore the Axe hidden, dug into the pages of the Bible. This also goes back to Paradise times, with Satan dressed as a then-innocent serpent-animal. This image as fake-Mormon being the tempter is furthered by the fact that the ad takes place during day time, early afternoon. In the traditional, domestic mindset, the man is at work and the woman is at home, attending to domestic issues. Therefore there are no men in the commercial except the fake Mormon. So the women have no one to protect them from the tempter, once again, as in the Genesis story. They are then innocent, damsels-in-distress. Susceptible to temptation.
The ending, however, with the fake-Mormon opening the door and finding a horde of domestic, young women, and he consequently "delivering" the message of unresistable temptation which is Axe, is complicated by the Mormon-stigma of polygamy. More fundamentalist Mormons practice polygamy as a right or duty of their beliefs. Taking this into context, the ad can be seen as reaffirming the true Mormon right of having multiple spouses. The fact also that the women being tempted are, or appear to be already married or marriage-age further adds to this interpretation. Also, take into consideration that the Bible being opened up, containing the Axe, is a regular Bible, not the Book of Mormon. US legislation made practicing polygamy virtually illegal. Does Axe restore the Mormon Truth? or, at least, what does the Axe commercial have to say about Mormonism? Does every Mormon want to go back to the days of polygamy? Or are Mormon's tempters? Dressed as good-guy Christians but...nothing more than sheep's clothing.
Nonetheless, interesting commercial. Definitely worth the analysis.

No comments: