Axe #KissForPeace, Susan Glenn and theme ads

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A new campaign for Axe Peace, an upcoming range from Axe is out. The central idea seems to arise from the variant name itself – in a world filled with war, the greatest weapon is love. Make love, not war with new AXE Peace. The ad depicts several parts of the world known for conflicts and sets up what seems like a tipping point for disaster. The twist is in the protagonists dropping their weapons and celebrating love.

Agency: BBH

The print ads and Facebook posts take forward the theme.




Is this a new ‘theme’ campaign or a tactical one to promote a variant. Most likely the latter. Either way, the consumer gets to see the brand communication and doesn’t differentiate between tactical and theme. The brand has traditionally stuck to the ‘chic magnet’ platform bordering on the lewd. Some of the efforts in that space (spray Axe and watch women lust after you) have been subtle while most others have been direct, even crude. In the recent past the brand broke away from this template with the Susan Glenn ads and the ‘brainy girl, sporty girl’ series. However, the Susan Glenn campaign was restricted to the US while globally they ran the regular chic magnet theme. Even the Axe Apollo mission (ambitious as it was) seemed like a tactical campaign linked again to the variant’s name, as was the one for Axe Anarchy.

In markets like India, such a sophisticated messaging for the brand may not find great empathy with the target audience. Hence they may continue with the more in-your-face approach of the chic magnet ads. Even if a user were to see both the messaging it may not be incongruous as both the executions are in the ‘attraction’ space. What say?

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