You Stay Classy, Axe

The makers of the popular bro-wash (Broap?) create a Facebook app that lets you claim to be dating over a hundred girls at once (but actually obliterates your chances to date even one). Dislike!

Axe women

Oh, Axe. Even your name is ridiculous. What do you make exactly? Soap or something? Body wash? Deodorant? Whatever, you don't cut down trees. Blood-thirsty orcs do not wield you in battle. Seriously, bro.

Whatever it is exactly, Axe's marketing is, we have to admit, noticeable. The most recent notch in Axe's belt comes from engaging the services of Ogilvy, Tunisia. Axe wanted a campaign to go viral in Tunisia on a limited budget. The folks at Ogilvy came up with an app that subverted people's expectations on Facebook.

When your friend gets in a new relationship, it's often broadcast to your newsfeed: "Arnold is in a relationship with Maria," say, with a little heart. Ogilvy made an app that mimicked this status message. You can say you were in a relationship with a given person, plus X number of girls, where X equaled whatever outlandish number you wanted to come up with.

Axe Facebook app

You (the Tunisian, male, and also tasteless version of you, that is) then broadcast that info to your friends in something that perfectly resembled the official Facebook status message, but for that one twist. Your friends could then comment, like, and click on the announcement--which would take them to the Facebook page, where they could make a polyamorous status update of their own. Ogilvy later put out a video broadcasting the success of the campaign; it was spotted by Megan O'Neill over at SocialTimes, which is where we first saw it.

It's not Axe's first innovative-ish campaign, either. We wrote recently about how they were early adopters of a clever QR-code-on-a-tee-shirt campaign, that was making inroads among college sports teams. They also put on a kind-of-cool augmented reality campaign in a London train station, where if you stood in a certain spot and watched yourself on a jumbotron, a virtual sexy angel would drop in from the top of the screen to start flirting with you.

"Axe: The worldwide leaders in virtual, interactive Angel rape," wrote a nonplussed YouTube commenter not long ago.

Let's go on the record, here. Axe, you're kind of an ass. We don't like the way you treat women. You're essentially the world's biggest, most lucrative frathouse. And we're frankly skeptical of the causal claims you make about the relationships between soap and sexual irresistibility.

And yet, like that one frat guy we hung out with who was really funny and entrepreneurial, there's part of us that can't help but admire you.

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Email David Zax, the author of this post, or follow him on Twitter.

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