There are two men’s body washes that are creatively vying for the hearts and minds of man consumers (or those who purchase on their behalf) today. This morning after lifting a bit at the gym and using some man wash myself, I was thinking about how each of these brands is pitching its wares to men today. Ironically, two different versions of manhood are found. One note before we begin. I am endorsing neither product, nor their future choices in marketing schtick. Either company could produce very different advertising efforts in the future. I only want to comment on what we see from them today.
The Axe Man
The Axe brand is a new comer on the scene of man products not having been around as long as Speed Stick or Hai Karate. Its line of man sprays and washes is marketed quite aggressively to the young male today. What is their hook? If you use Axe, lots of hot chicks will want sex from you. Use Axe body spray or wash or hair product and look out…you will become the irresistible object of the uncontrolled sexual desires of multiple women at the same time. The Axe man is a picture of the modern view of manhood - adolescent, sex crazed and led around by things other than self control.
The Old Spice Man
In contrast, the new fantastically popular “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” is surprising, funny and different. Apparently, the campaign has been economically effective as sales appear to be up some 107%. The spots highlight masculinity, have brilliant writing and are so ridiculous that their humor seems to appeal to a broad audience. I know I find them awesome and I even had my wife buy some Old Spice Bodywash for me this week.
As I thought about the two full length Old Spice commercials as well as the myriad of responses given to peeps on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites something quite surprising came to mind. The man your man could smell like is quite a different man that the Axe man; in fact, we find a mand of Chivalry. Now hold on professor, are you not reading too much into some humor - perhaps, but I don’t think so.
- Two Tickets to that thing you love! The man your man could smell like is thinking about woman and how he might woo them. How so? He is thoughtful to know what she loves and proactively buys tickets. Men, this sort of initiative with women is an old school art that the Axe boy knows nothing of.
- A Cake He Backed for You Again, an attempt at thoughtfulness, planning and giving to his woman - men, let us be awake to learn here!
- In the Kitchen He Built for You This man fixes house stuff and seems to do so as an act of service to the lady of his manor. Again, the man is serving his woman…Swan Dive!
- Finally, he’s on a horse and we know who rides horses right? Men who protect and provide for a lady. Men who both ride to battle and rescue what is valuable from the hands of marauders, idiots and tyrants…maybe even from childish Axe men. Yes friends, a knight rides a horse and I just think Old Spice giving a nod to men on horses is refreshing.
Where are the men of the old code, where are men of courage, truth, valor and respect for ladies? Where are the men who are like the man your man could smell like? Well, perfect ones do not exist. And this man is a caricature. Yet men can become knights and men can learn to love a lady. Men can learn to fight for the good and resist the evil without and within. Men can treat women with grace, service and yes honor.
Yes indeed Old Spice Man you are on a horse. May that tribe increase and the Knight’s sword triumph over the barbarians Axe. Let the old school return my man friends.