Vikings and Spartans and Naked Ladies, Oh My

I'm sure I don't even need to express my general feelings about Axe and its ad campaigns. This particularly egregious ad spot calls our attention to the Axe Undie Run Challenge, in which college students across America (but mostly conventionally attractive women) eagerly donate the clothes off their backs (literally) to charity.

Notable items:
- Far more semi-naked women than men in this advertisement. All women are, as mentioned, conventionally attractive; a good portion of the men featured are not conventionally attractive, and reveal far less skin than the women (clothed men are placed prominently next to unclothed or undressing women)
- Men are seen dressed up as Spartans, Vikings, and...Zorro. Women can't be costumed plunderers (or masked heroes), apparently.
- Dumbed-down voice-over. Because men are stupid.
- Obvious heterosexist slant. Because queer men don't exist.
- Use of the phrase "up in this bitch," which is a gendered slur used to dehumanize women.

You know it has to be pretty bad when it makes me long for an Old Spice commercial.

1 comment:

  1. in talking about extreme examples like axe commercials with people lately, they tend to dismiss them, saying they're so over the top that obviously no one takes them seriously and therefore they aren't worth taking the time to critique. while i agree that it's pretty important to focus on the more subtle forms of sexism/etc since people find them easier to ignore/deny, i think these caricatures are still really important to examine because obviously they are still perpetuating certain values and contributing to a culture that holds them in high regard!