Advertisement: Axe Effect Essay

1071 words - 4 pages

After reading a few articles in "Signs of Life," one can't help but realize that advertisements play a major role in shaping western cultures. In any commercial or magazine ad, it is clear as day that shower gel is being propped as more than a basic personal hygiene item by the production companies. This is apparent to anyone who observes the Axe Shower Gel advertisement in Maxim magazine. The advertisement consists of a relatively clean bathroom with an occupancy sign being hung on the wall. Below the picture, the advertisement says: "Axe Shower Gel is how dirty boys get clean." All in all, this particular advertisement proves that Steinem's theory that sex and lies in advertisements has become an epidemic in modern times.Steinem’s theory is most evident in Maxim magazine where Axe advertisements are commonly placed. First off, this advertisement was strategically positioned in the middle of the magazine to maximize recognition. Also, Maxim magazine is a male audience based magazine, thus making the advertisement obvious at first sight that the shower gel is intended for male use. Now when we start analyzing the advertisement, the first thing that we can easily spot is the sign that says: "Occupancy by more than 5 persons is dangerous and unlawful." One may ask why this sign is being awkwardly hanged on the bathroom wall; it's obvious that it doesn't belong there. The actual hidden message of this sign is implying to a male that by using Axe, he can get the ladies. Also, the sign is not only implying that not only can he get one lady, but a whole group of ladies will instinctively go after him if he showers with Axe.Anyone can see that the advertisement is geared toward men. However, there are none present. In "Masters of Desires" by Jack Solomon, he wrote “America is a nation of fantasizers…easily enthralled by a veritable Fantasy.”(413) To simply explain this, Solomon is trying to say that Americans are easily manipulated by the fantasy they see on TV and it is obvious that this is exactly what the Axe Company is attempting to do in their ad as well. They purposely leave the shower empty in the advertisement so the potential male consumers can fantasize about themselves being pleasured by a group of women in the shower.This advertisement not only uses the lustful fantasies to bully male consumers into buying the product, but they also use one of the oldest and most effective technique: fear. Solomon writes in his article that all human beings are constantly afraid of being socially unacceptable. This ad here is imposing a fear that if you do not use Axe Shower Gel, you will not become part of the norm and not become socially accepted among women.Sex in advertising has been a main theme for much of the 21st century in American advertising so far. It seems like all we see these days are advertisements which utilize the human body and sexuality to sell all kinds of products from food to cars and the Axe Shower Gel is no...

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