Axe Will Send 22 Teenage Boys Into Space

Ballsy promotions are nothing new for Axe Body Wash/Spray/Incense/Baby Powder, also known as the secret weapon of hormonal teenage boys everywhere.

The company’s latest stunt is certainly its most brazen. In order to promote a new line of products that will blasphemously be known as Axe Apollo, parent company Unilever enlisted former astronaut Buzz Aldrin (who is only the second person to walk on the moon, BTW) and the Space Expedition Corporation to create its new promo project: sending 22 customers into space.

We’re not exactly sure what intergalactic travel has to do with cologne, and we have a feeling that most members of the target demographic would go “into orbit” if a female so much as looked at them, nyuk nyuk. But Axe is never one to veer off-brand: This commercial, for example, reminds boys that astronauts always get chicks–even when there are heroic firefighters around.

Well, that was dumb.

The most interesting thing about this campaign: the promo concept came before the product.

Creatives at Axe’s agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty settled on selling the idea of astronaut-as-hero before the company had even finished developing its newest line, which then came together around the message itself.

It’s a fairly interesting case study, and Unilever is pushing it hard–the company paid nearly $4 million to hawk the stunt with a Super Bowl ad spot.

So what do we think? Will this campaign further entrench Axe’s status as the go-to “grooming/personal care” brand for young, desperate dudes who don’t know any better?