Over the years, Axe has been telling men around the world that smelling a certain way (namely, like a hormone-addled teenage boy doused in pungent drugstore body spray) is a surefire way to attract hot, vapid ladies (as if there is any other kind!). The same goes for their hair—style it just right, and like magic, an attractive female will appear out of nowhere. Alas, men being men, the actual styling process can present a challenge: Which pomade to buy? What does one do with said pomade once it has been purchased? Wait, what is pomade?
In a new series of spots from BBH London, Axe demystifies the process by offering up four distinct male hair tropes complete with step-by-step instructions and the specific Axe product needed to achieve it (even though they all appear to be the exact same goo). There's "The Clean Cut Look," a combed, parted and rakishly backswept style; "The Messy Look," favored by fans of Harry Styles; "The Natural Look," a bit of a puzzler, considering it could conceivably be achieved by not using any styling product at all; and "The Spiked Up Look," to satisfy any lingering nostalgia for David Beckham circa 2002 (or, at the extreme end, Ryan Cabrera circa Audrina Patridge still being relevant).
Surprisingly enough, in addition to being informative, several of the video tutorials are also mildly amusing, each poking fun at its own conceit. There is no godly reason for the star of "The Messy Look" to be styling his hair while caught in a storm at sea, or "The Spiked Up Look" guy to pause for a primping session during an action sequence. And Axe knows its "Natural Look" man is a tool ("Take note: this step requires a modicum of effort"). Only "The Clean Cut Look" is a total yawn—posh accent, douchey guy, martinis, snore.
Better yet, although the spots all provide the usual end reward—a hot girl—they're tongue-in-cheek enough to avoid being aggressively misogynistic. Then again, maybe the women aren't on camera long enough to be exploited.
Either way, it's a step in the right direction for Axe.
Global Vice President: Dean Aragon
Global Brand Director: Victor Hugo
Agency: BBH, London
Creative Team: Harry Orton, Robin Warman, Mark Lewis, Matt Fitch
Creative Directors: Gary McCreadie, Wesley Hawes
Deputy Executive Creative Director: David Kolbusz
Producer: Glenn Paton
Strategic Business Lead: Ngaio Pardon
Strategy Director: Jonathan Bottomley
Strategist: Tim Jones
Team Directors: Heather Cuss, Roxane Gergaud
Team Manager: Cressida Holmes-Smith
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Nick Jasenovic
Executive Producer: Anna Smith
Producer: Neil Cray
Director of Photography: Ben Todd
Editing House: Cut+Run
Editor: Sam Jones
Sound: Factory Studios
Sound Engineer: Sam Robson