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Ad of the Day: Axe


The correct mode of transit to a Caribbean island goes something like this: You are standing, chest forward and chin up, on a speedboat. It is part of a triangular formation of speedboats making a beeline through azure waters toward said island. The speedboat's captains are distinguished men wearing neat beards, rich ascots and sharp linen suits. These men are singing, in chorus, a song that does not need words, to announce your approach. The speedboats are filled with essentials to ensure a perfectly decadent island vacation. Those essentials include a live band, tuxedo-clad bartenders shaking martinis in rhythm, and masseuses with folding tables and body oil at the ready.

These are some of the supplies in "Supplies," a nicely epic new ad from BBH London (and director Tim Godsall) for deodorant Axe Anarchy. The particularly fun bit: The brand actually does have an island, and is running a Facebook sweepstakes to send seven British fans—and a guest for each—to a lush holiday in the Caribbean. The concept is strong: The agency smartly focuses on the anticipation of the journey, rather than the blur of the party itself, and the execution is mostly on point, and on brand. The model types in bikinis presumably could represent contest winners themselves, or their plus-ones. Either way, they check off a box on Axe's list of must-have visuals. And despite the brand's general shift to a position that includes products and messaging aimed at women, the sexy-pillow-fighting girls tip its hand. It's still focused mainly on resonating with hormone-addled young men.

Some of the details are a little lackluster on follow-through. Ninjas are a cliché symbol for a type of "awesomeness" that feels too out-of-place—a hamfisted way for Axe to signal that it gets the random humor of kids these days (a little like a distant, middle-aged cousin tossing around lingo to impress a mortified teenage relation). Disco balls: also kind of obvious and not particularly compelling. The pizza-delivery guys, on the other hand, are a clever, counterintuitive tidbit. Pretty much anyone could admit to wanting them on call during a tropical getaway.

As for the overabundance of the body spray itself … why not? It will wash right off in the water, anyway. 

Client: Unilever, Axe/Lynx
Agency: BBH, London
BBH Creative Team: Wesley Hawes, Gary McCreadie, Dan Bailey and Brad Woolfe
BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
BBH Producer: Ryan Chong
BBH Team Manager: Keral Petal
BBH Team Director: Jen Omran
BBH Strategy Director: Tim Jones

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Tim Godsall
Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
Producer: Rick Jarjoura
DoP: Terrence Maritz
Post Production: The Mill, London
Editor/Editing House: White House, London
Sound: Factory Studios
Music Composition: Nylon Studios, NY

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