Axe Gets Back to Being Axe in Ad With Headless Pair of Breasts

Susan Glenn who?

Headshot of Tim Nudd

For those who were concerned that Axe's "Susan Glenn" spot represented a concerted effort by the brand to renounce its moral turpitude and embrace a measure of sophistication, fear not: This new Axe spot from BBH, New York, reaffirms the brand's worldview by literally reducing a woman to a headless, walking pair of breasts. It's hard to think of an Axe spot that so blatantly claims men see nothing else. The ad tries to get away with this by being cutesy and cartoony, and also, amusingly enough, suggesting that it's actually women who objectify men—as we see the disembodied breasts fall in love with her male counterpart: an unruly tuft of hair, who is also disembodied and walking around forlornly on stubby little legs. By the end, the man and woman finally become whole to the plaintive strains of "True Love Will Find You in the End," by Daniel Johnston. "Hair. It's what girls see first," says the on-screen copy. BBH and Axe have been down this road before. The spot echoes, more than anything, the agency's Pitman work for the client from the early 2000s, featuring the disembodied armpit who gets the girls because he smells so good. In the Axe universe, people aren't greater than the sum of their parts—they are their parts. So, you'd better make them look and smell desirable.

     Below, check out another new spot, also a return to more classic Axe messaging, with a woman who has apparently watched plenty of Olympic action—and uses her shot put and pole-vaulting skills to convene with her nerdy Axe-using dude.

     Not that Axe is completely ditching Susan Glenn. In fact, it's hired New Girl's Max Greenfield to write, direct and star in a series of "Finding Susan Glenn" Web clips. Check out the first four below.

The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.