From the moment Axe first hit the market in 1983, it was very clear that this was a product for the manliest of men. Throughout the '00s, the deodorant brand's advertisements consistently displayed what appeared to be a really lame dude cursed with the inability to attract women. The moment he spritzed, rolled or lathered on the magical potion, he would become an instant babe magnet. During my middle school days, I nearly suffocated to death from the foul stench of the body spray that every pubescent boy drenched themselves in. (I'm surprised that my nostrils and ability to smell are still intact.)
While Old Spice made us laugh until we cried, Axe continued to make us cringe with its misogynistic portrayal of women. There was the commercial where a guy that uses Axe Dark Temptation turns into chocolate and women flock the block trying to eat him; and the commercial where a guy applies Axe shower gel, causing women to accidentally drop their bikini tops. Oh, and who could forget the "Spray More, Get More" campaign where exotic women (in bikinis) emerged form the jungle and gathered to fight over a freshly sprayed man? It was all pretty toxic stuff that polluted the minds of teenage boys and tainted their preceptions of real women.
In recent years though, Axe has taken a different approach to targeting men. In 2014, the brand ran a "Call To Arms" commercial about men in the military in an effort to salute the troops and promote world peace. Today, Axe shared a brand new commercial titled "Find Your Magic." Rather than show hypermasculine men lathering up to score big, it immediately knocks down the notion of praising swollness. Instead, the advertisement acknowledges all types of men and embraces them for these differences. (Our favorite part is when the narrator cuts to the scene of black men competing at a vogue ball.)
Taking this bold stance on masculinity is a huge step for Axe, and it certainly took a while, but we feel relieved to finally see this day. We applaud the brand's gesture of inclusion, but this still doesn't change the fact that we can't stand the smell of Axe products. Watch the commercial, above.