AXE has established itself as a worldwide brand name in home and personal care products with emphasis on deodorants and shampoos for men. Through their massive marketing campaign that includes AXE commercials, samples and advertisements, AXE has become a leading force in the personal care market. It also has allowed the company to establish their purpose of meeting the everyday needs of people everywhere while promising to help guys look, smell and feel their best. However these advertisements often if not always tend to focus on the symbolism behind what their products can do outside of personal care and grooming without actually talking about the products itself. The AXE brand therefore has established an ideology in consumers that AXE will give you the ability to have sex with pretty girls you probably had no shot with .The company does this through always using what society considers to be hot or beautiful women but average looking men who somehow end up getting the girl out of their league simply by using AXE, which can be seen in the commercial, Premature Perspiration.
In Premature Perspiration you see average looking men who see girls they consider to be hot and out of their league. As these men begin to see these women they suddenly break out into heavy perspiration, which is shown to be a major turn off for the women. As these men continue to perspire, they begin to start breaking down emotionally as the women leave. One of the men however uses AXE and suddenly becomes better looking, confident and ultimately gets the girl. The commercial played into the ideology that AXE allows its consumers to get the beautiful girl through the use of their products.
Through this perspective you can also see that the commercial identifies the two subject positions, models and anti-models. The model is the one guy who decides to use the axe product and gets the girl, while the anti-models are all the other men who don’t use axe products and end up without the girl. In terms of a Marxist perspective, there are various economic metaphors at play. For one the anti-models look to be part of the middle working class, their possessions tend to be nothing special or something of great value while their status seems to be one of poor respect. The men are seen in places of low worth when they begin to perspire, which include a low class living room, a coin laundry and a bowling alley. These are typically places or situations where you would not see men with high socioeconomic status and power.
Hegemony is defined as the privileging of a dominant’s group ideology over that of other groups (Sellnow 72). The commercial plays into this theory of hegemony. It does this by accepting the dominant norm in society that beautiful women should and can only be with the typical hot male unless they do something to themselves, example using AXE. It also plays into hegemony through the socioeconomic symbols in the commercial of wealth and power. All the men experiencing premature perspiration also are shown to lack economic status, in that they would not be considered well off in society. This plays into the notion that people without money experience problems both physically, the perspiration and emotionally, the breakdowns. Hegemony is also evident through the fact that the commercial shows that only physically attractive and beautiful women have the ability to make men perspire. This also agrees with the socially accepted ideology that beautiful women are empowered and looks matter.
The manipulation of advertising and their marketing strategies has allowed the AXE brand to become a worldwide leader in personal care products. Through playing into society’s accepted norms and acknowledging their values, AXE has been able to directly relate to a huge target market. This is evident in the Marxist analysis performed as well as the various socioeconomic symbols in the commercial. AXE shows that they use society’s interest in beautiful women to create a scenario in which any guy can get even the most beautiful girl. Lastly, despite AXE creating false hope in the minds of their customers, they do a great job of making society believe in the ideology that using AXE is common sense and will empower you through their use of hegemony and clever promises.