WTF is Axe Effect?

Today I received an email forward from a friend describing the real life experiences of a man using the famous Unilever brand Axe. But before we go into that interesting story let me first introduce you to this brand. Axe was launched in India in 1999 as a deodorant brand. This leading brand in male toiletries segment has harmonized offerings across the world in more than 60 countries.

The target segment for the brand is ‘young men’. The brand is positioned as ‘cool, fashionable and stylish’. This image is reflected in the names of various fragrances under the brand: Java, Pulse, Dimension, Voodoo and Phoenix. The ads of AXE focus on the same theme and uses ‘sex appeal’ to convey the message. Most AXE ads don’t have any tagline or don’t even have any dialog. The cool image and sex appeal is projected by showing common guys using AXE attracting and wooing women. They call it ‘The AXE Effect’.

Axe
The brand also promotes events like ‘World’s Longest Dance Party’ & ‘Axe Voodoo Island Party’ to attract target consumers. Recently on similar themes Axe has started a campaign “Get ready to play” which has an accompanying website: www.axegames.in. Official website of the brand is: www.theaxeeffect.com. The brand also has a Youtube Channel named: http://www.youtube.com/axe.

Now, coming back to the real story – I’m not sure about the truth in it – but when I search in Google with the title “Unable to attract even a single girl, frustrated man uses Axe” – I get some 39,800 search results – which give some amount of credibility to the story. Anyway, without going into that debate I am publishing the hilarious forward unedited for you to enjoy…


Unable to attract even a single girl, frustrated man uses Axe

New Delhi. In what could prove to be a major marketing and legal embarrassment for Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), a 26-year-old man has filed a case against the FMCG company, which owns the Axe brand of men grooming products, for ‘cheating’ and causing him ‘mental suffering’. The plaintiff has cited his failure to attract any girl at all even though he’s been using Axe products for over seven years now. Axe advertisements suggest that the products help men in instantly attracting women.
Vaibhav Bedi, the petitioner, also surrendered all his used, unused and half-used deodorant sprays, perfume sticks and roll-ons, anti-perspirants, aftershaves, body washes, shampoos, and hair gels to the court, and demanded a laboratory test of the products and narcotics test of the brand managers of Axe. Vaibhav was pushed to take this step when his bai (maid) beat him with a broom when he tried to impress her by appearing naked in front of her after applying all the Axe products.

No girl ever asked Vaibhav to call her
“Where the fuck is the Axe effect? I’ve been waiting for it for over seven years. Right from my college to now in my office, no girl ever agreed to even go out for a tea or coffee with me, even though I’m sure they could smell my perfumes, deodorants and aftershaves. I always applied them in abundance to make sure the girls get turned on as they show in the television. Finally I thought I’d try to impress my lonely bai who had an ugly fight with her husband and was living alone for over a year. Axe effect my foot!” Vaibhav expressed his unhappiness.
Vaibhav claims that he had been using all the Axe products as per the company’s instructions even since he first bought them. He argued that if he couldn’t experience the Axe effect despite using the products as directed, either the company was making false claims or selling fake products.
“I had always stored them in cool and dry place, and kept them away from direct light or heat. I’d always use a ruler before applying the spray and make sure that the distance between the nozzle and my armpit was at least 15 centimeters. I’d do everything they told. I even beat up my 5-year-old nephew for coming near my closet, as they had instructed it to keep away from children’s reach. And yet, all I get is a broom beating from my ugly bai.” Vaibhav expressed his frustration.
Vaibhav claims that he had to do go a lot of mental suffering and public humiliation due to the lack of Axe effect and wants HUL to compensate him for this agony. An advocate in Karkardooma court, who happened to mistake Vaibhav for some deodorant vendor when he entered the court premises with all the bottles, has now offered to take up his case in the court. HUL has been served a legal notice in this regard.
HUL has officially declined to comment on the case citing the subject to be sub judice, but our sources inform that the company was worried over the possible outcomes of the case. The company might argue that Vaibhav was hopelessly unattractive and unintelligent and didn’t possess the bare minimum requirements for the Axe effect to take place. Officially HUL has not issued any statement, but legal experts believe that HUL could have tough time convincing the court.
“HUL might be tempted to take that line of argument, but it is very risky. There is no data to substantiate the supposition that unattractive and unintelligent men don’t attract women. In fact some of the best looking women have been known to marry and date absolutely ghoulish guys. I’d suggest that the company settles this issue out of court.” noted lawyer Ram Jhoothmalani said.


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About Dr. Angshu

Dr. Angshu is the founder and owner of TNMG: The Next Marketing Guru. He is a PhD and MBA in Marketing from XLRI Jamshedpur. Currently he is leading large scale marketing, research & analytics projects as part of Strategy & Insights team at Star India, India’s no. 1 Media & Entertainment company. In his last job, he was heading Consumer Insights function for Spice Group. Earlier he has worked for Wipro Technologies and managed IT projects for marketing division of a Fortune 100 company. Dr. Angshu is a Visiting Professor at XLRI and IMT Ghaziabad. He has published multiple research papers on marketing, social media and luxury consumption. Recently he has published a book titled “Influence 2.0: How Social Media WOM Influences You" published by reputed international publishing house Lambert Publishing. Other than work and academics, he is a social media addict, big foodie and amateur pianist. You can contact him by: Gmail | Facebook | LinkedIn

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