How Axe Is Changing Attitudes About Gender

Axe Is It Ok For Guys

I still remember how excited Unilever’s team was when they announced that Axe was going to send some lucky guys to space. My peers shared their enthusiasm when we watched a teaser video together at Queen’s University in 2013, but that was the last time I really thought about the brand.

Axe just released a new ad that challenges common stereotypes about young men, which I love. This video makes me rethink what Axe stands for and I admire how it has the power to change consumers’ views about gender. In a way, this ad is long overdue. It’s 2017! Of course it’s ok for guys to wear pink (and not just on Wednesdays). So what if a boy doesn’t like sports?

I wish Axe didn’t have to include a question about depression because it should be obvious by now that guys have mental health issues too. The best article I read on Bell Let’s Talk Day was written by a local male marketer and that was one of many stories.

On the other hand, that’s exactly what makes this a thought-provoking ad. For example, Axe takes basic misconceptions about who’s ‘allowed’ to be a cat lover or take selfies and frames them as challenges to modern guys. Growing up is brutal for everyone and I like how Axe presents some of that angst in less than a minute. Bonus style points for using Google keywords.

Recently, I wish I had the guts to speak up against gender stereotypes, but I didn’t want to stir up any drama. It bothered me that adults were trying to classify kids as girly girls or tomboys based on their style and hobbies. The reality is that it doesn’t matter what colours they wear or which toys they prefer. Why do they need more labels? Just let them be kids and have fun!

When I was in kindergarten, my best friend was the boy down the street (spoiler alert: we’re not getting married!) and I spent most of recess playing with him and other guys. Fast forward to today: I spend my days promoting virtual fashion in video games and I haven’t been to a sporting event in a few years. I’m not a tomboy or a girly girl. I’m somewhere in between and that’s cool with me.

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