In Step Forward for Feminism, Axe Creates Women's Body Spray

A huge battle has been won in the fight for gender equality. While women still earn less than men doing the same jobs and there are groups working tirelessly to restrict our reproductive rights, we're finally free to douse ourselves in eau de frat boy. Axe, the cheap toiletry equivalent of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, is releasing a body spray for women.


Axe has already released a teaser commercial for the new fragrance, Anarchy, which comes in versions for men and women. While the first commercial won't be posted online until tomorrow, the New York Times has a description of the ad that heralds Axe's bold new direction.

As its name portends, a new commercial depicts a scene of mayhem, with a chain of events including a car pileup. During the spot, strangers lock eyes and, oblivious to the commotion, walk hungrily toward one another, then freeze at about an arm's length, nostrils flaring and chests heaving, not breaking the sexual tension with contact.

"Unleash the chaos," says screen text at the close of the commercial, as a young man and woman spray their torsos. "New Axe Anarchy for him and for her."

While it may not sound like these scenes of action movie destruction will make women give up on Bath & Body Works, David Kolbusz, a creative director behind the ads, explains they're actually empowering for the ladies:

Before, an Axe commercial was always about a guy spraying himself and a girl being attracted, and Axe giving him an edge in the mating game, whereas now women also have something to spray on themselves, and consequently there's more of an equilibrium between the sexes.

Finally, feminism has succeeded. If only someone had thought to give us a stinky body spray earlier!

The shift at Axe isn't entirely altruistic. Only 17 percent of American men use body spray, so it makes sense that the brand is looking to expand to a larger market. The only problem is that traditionally Axe commercials have shown unbelievably gorgeous women fawning over a more average-looking dude. "Girls in Axe advertising will always be a little better-looking than the guys, but the question is to what degree," says Kolbusz. "The guys can look a little more aspirational in the lead roles without the average guy feeling threatened." Anarchy for women is only being released as a limited edition, but it may become a fixture in the Axe lineup, depending on sales. We expect it to be a huge success, because what woman doesn't hope to hook up with a slightly less attractive man?


Axe Adds Fragrance for Women to Its Lineup [NYT]


Kat Callahan

I don't know any college guys that use Axe, and if there are many stereotypes about fraternities one could make a legitimate case for, I don't think Axe is one of them. At least not at any college/university I have attended.

That being said? Shit is everywhere on the 13-18 year old set. High Schools are full of axe vapor.

...also what, Axe is an awful product. But what do I know? I think deodorant is all pretty much the same, and I use Old Spice because the commercials amuse me and because I know somewhere I can get it for fairly cheap, but I'm not brand loyal, and I've used all sorts of different brands over the years, both "men's" brands and "women's" brands. Whatever is cheaper or amuses me the most.