The ‘Axe’ Effect – Part – I
Yeah, you guessed it right. The moment you read this title, what you thought this article would be is today’s topic. Perfumes are being used for a long time in all the civilizations. The fundamental purpose of using perfumes and body sprays is to suppress the body odour and spread fragrance around. Perfume trade is one of the important trades for centuries in the Middle East and Europe. All through the history we could come across references of perfumes usage during sexual acts. Even the world’s book on sex ‘The Kamasutra’ many references about perfumes can be found.
Though perfume trade exists for centuries, the advertisement strategies have changed from time to time with the advent of mass media, especially, over time these strategies have evolved. Modern fragrance merchants have held firmly the age old connections of perfumes with sex, as their key for brand promotion. The demographic information points out that the utilization of perfumes is most prevalent in the west.
Though India falls in the map of perfume trade, it was for long reserved as the royal commodity accessed by the kings and the rich. But this is a history now. The booming economy in India has enabled perfumes as a product of the commoners. Most of the Indians prefer deodorant body sprays to perfumes. Though body sprays are not as enigmatic as perfumes in fragrance keep the body odour at bay. This serves the purpose for many middle class demographic. Besides it comes with at a dearly price compared to perfumes. Hence, no wonder, it has found its way into the monthly grocery list of most of the Indian families.
Now in the Indian market, flooded with an array of product line up, consumers are left with too many choices. So marketing becomes the key to attract the consumers. The ‘Axe’ brand, a male grooming brand, from UK’s Unilever limited, entered the Indian market roughly about a decade ago. At the time of its entry there were too many other brands already dominating the market.
It was they who invented ‘The Axe Effect’. This is the brand that imposed the image of sexuality to its products. The advertisement campaigns took forward by Axe deodorant for men, promoted itself as the product that would improve the sex appeal of men. The advertisement showed women of all walks of lives falling for men who sport the Axe fragrance.
This series of promotions obviously fosters sexism, but who cares. This might potentially create a pseudo notion among the immature viewers, especially among the teen folks, that any woman could be easily wooed for sex. The product even exaggerated to a level that in one of its commercials it even promised men that, even angels would fall from the firmaments, ogling at the Axe scented men.