Well, well, well, who would’ve thought the brand that did this, would suddenly be partnering with nonprofits to better understand the challenges men face as the result of masculine stereotypes? It feels a bit like finding out the jock who bullied you in high school is now a social worker.
The brands newest ad illustrates real Google searches guys make, to draw attention to issues surrounding what it calls “toxic masculinity.” It’s part of Axe’s ongoing “Find Your Magic” campaign that launched last year and significantly toned down the brand’s over-the-top bro vibe. At that time, Axe senior marketing director Matthew McCarthy told me the shift reflects a larger cultural attitude change. “Guys today, particularly young guys, are calling bullshit on those archetypes and saying they won’t be constricted or defined by what it meant to be a guy in past generations.” Here, they take things a step further from simply applauding the concept of individuality to actively trying to help guys figure it out. Onward!
Axe “Is It OK For Guys . . .”
What: Newest ad in Axe’s “Find Your Magic” campaign that asks tough questions about masculinity.
Who: Axe, 72andSunny Amsterdam
Why We Care: According to research from Axe and nonprofit Ditch the Label, 72% of young men have been told how a “real man” should behave. By bringing real Google searches to life, the spot helps hit the issue of identity in a way that’s both thought-provoking and challenging.
Lululemon “This Is Yoga”
What: The first global ad film from the athletic/leisure giant aiming to redefine itself beyond yoga pants.
Who: Lululemon, Virtue Worldwide
Why We Care: This was a bit of a tough call. It’s as well done and stylish as you’d expect from Vice’s in-house agency, yet has that familiar Vice vibe that makes it seem like it could work just as well as a promo for a new Vice show. And yet, it’s also an interesting departure for a brand that’s pushing to get beyond its core audience.
Apple “Designed For Everyone”
What: A new campaign to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18.
Why We Care: I picked the Carlos V. spot, but really, this pick is about the entire campaign because, as a whole, it really brings together a fuller picture of the impact of accessible tech. These individual stories put faces, names, and lives being lived to the various apps and features on a device.
Adult Swim “Alien: Covenant–Rick And Morty”
What: Rick and Morty stumble upon an abandoned ship in this mash-up between Adult Swim weirdness and Ridley Scott’s horrorscape.
Who: Adult Swim, 20th Century Fox
Why We Care: Well, 20th Century Fox keeps on keepin’ on with the kind of movie marketing that landed it on my ad/marketing picks for Fast Company‘s 2017 Most Innovative Companies list. As my colleague Joe Berkowitz wrote earlier this week, this promo actually captures the essence of the hilariously insane Adult Swim show. The odd couple of cult fandom–Rick and Morty, and the Alien film franchise–actually fit perfectly together, in what is by far the greatest piece of sponsored content so far this year.
Brooklyn Film Festival “Because We Can”
What: A new campaign for the Brooklyn Film Festival that flaunts a certain giving-zero-f**ks attitude often associated with the borough.
Who: Brooklyn Film Festival, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
Why We Care: Hands down (heyooh!) the most creative masturbation joke used in advertising that I can remember. If you’re selling creativity, isn’t that enough?