2009 Runner-up

Axe shower gel ad

Axe Shower Gel "Hangover"

By Allie Filmanowicz
Arrowhead High School
Hartland, WI

This ad promotes Axe Shower Gel. The ad shows a white man who looks to be in his low 20’s face down on a coach. The pillows placed under his face represent a pair of breast. The whole ad uses dark colors, except for the pink on the pillows, accentuating the sexuality of the ad. His clothes and shoes are scattered around the floor leading you to believe he dropped them to the ground before drunkenly falling to the coach. A mess of a man is normally not appealing, and to women, this ad may not be. But to men, the idea of a night out on the town, drinking with your friends, and making a few mistakes may even be nostalgic.

The text on the ad reads “Who will you hook up with if you’re hung over?” This rhetorical question makes you think about the sex you may be missing out on. In the corner of the ad it reads, “Axe recovery shower gel wash away your hangover.”

This ad is selling its product by using “The Big Lie”; it’s trying to convince the reader that by washing away your hangover with Axe shower gel, you will receive more sex.

It’s also lying to you, using a Simple Solution, saying if you use Axe body wash the inconvenience of a hangover is simply washed away. As everyone knows a hangover can’t be cured with a shower and some body wash. Although to men, having the idea of being able to wash away mistakes and regrets from the night before is comforting.

Even though the ad uses the word hook-up to symbolize sex, the way the man’s head is located between the two pillows also gives a sexual reference. His facial expression seems pleased and the way he is grabbing on to one of the pillows causes you to believe he is dreaming of what Axe could do for him.

This ad is aimed towards men between the ages of 18 and 30, the ages in which partying and a loose lifestyle are more accepted. Axe body wash is $5.49 a bottle. Although most men can afford this price, it was not stated in the ad.

Values are completely ignored in this ad. They fail to mention the potential dangers of over drinking and having sex with many partners, instead they make it seem manly and acceptable.

The message the company portrays is: by using this “recovery” body wash you will be able to have more sex, no hangovers and essentially no regrets.