The Axe Effect, For Women?

Axe. That permeating scent that masks and harnesses the stench of pubescent male B.O. and (according to their commercials) makes women swoon – is now branding a line for women. The newest edition to the Axe family, Axe Anarchy, was released in limited edition on January 10, 2012. The line will have a his and her brand.

For a company known for their insensitivity to women through their various marketing and advertising campaigns, Axe’s decision to create a women’s body spray is befuddling. The previous Axe advertisements depict women ravenously chasing after men laced in the spray, attacking unsuspecting scent purveyors in elevators, swimming pools, and restaurants.

The basic premise is that if you wear Axe, you are outrageously attractive and possess animal-like sexual magnetism. Understandably, the addition of a women’s line can appear quite jarring initially.

Regardless of Axe’s contributions to the feminist movement, the push for a women’s line is actually a savvy business strategy. If you take under consideration that only 17% of men ages 18 to 24 wear body spray , and that 47% of women wear body spray, marketing a product for the other 50% of the population would naturally be the next step.

According to Bloomberg, Unilever, the British-Dutch multinational company responsible for Axe products, has seen substantial growth in sales over the last year. In fact, the entire U.S.fragrance market saw a rise in sales this past year. The NPD Group, a market research company, conducted a study reporting that during the first 10 months of 2011, the dollar sales from fragrances at U.S.department stores were $1.7 billion, a gain of 10% since the year before.

If there is a rise in fragrance sales, and women tend to invest more in body spray than men, does this mean women will elect to buy Axe? Or will they just walk past and pick up a bottle of spray from Victoria Secret? At the end of the day, a woman just wants to unwind, if smelling good is part of the equation all the better, but who really wants to cause Anarchy? I for one do not want to disrupt the misguided mating ritual of pubescent males.

Thank you Axe, but I think I’ll stick to what I know.

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