Axe Apes Occupy: Better Smelling Rebels or Sad Revolution
Ahh, yes the intoxicating romance of revolution. Surely you know of the feeling. The shouts of the rushing crowds, the roar of the cannons, bombs and destruction galore as dictatorships finally crumble and fall, allowing hope to emerge once more from peoples long denied it’s healthy embrace. The first shoots of anarchy, a fearful joy that greets the initial lawlessness filling the void left by the departing hardliners. Who couldn’t love revolution? It’s the chase, the hunt, the core of what makes us human. Struggle and desire – passion – for more than what we have, to grow, to be free. Say what you will about peaceful times but the deepest feelings and most cherished memories are created in times of great upheaval, war and chaos.
In fact, I have come to think that this is the chief attraction of the Occupy movement that is so desperately trying to rev itself up again for the summer to come. In most ways it’s quite pathetic as anarchic revolutions go. I mean really, what kind of movement scatters when the temperature drops? That sort of response suggests a “commitment to the cause” that is more fair weather than anything else don’t you think? Still, even if Occupy had endured, it will always be unique in its construct, groups of supposedly intelligent people massing to protest a lack of government intrusion into their daily lives. This was no movement dedicated to freedom at all costs by any means. This was a mess of folks that were some pissed about seeing any more government goodies cut from their lives. Viva la social safety net?
Whoever would have thought Axe bodyspray, that rather stunted brand of men’s deodorant (known far and wide for their beer-style TV ads where vacant beauties mindlessly pursue any hollow-chested dweeb smart enough to work a spray canister) would be the ones to provide a lesson in anarchy and revolution?
The spray is even called Anarchy by Axe (cute) and makes its claim to fame by being the very first Axe product aimed at women. To promote their entry to female fragrancing Axe decided to up the ante by highlighting what they see as their combustible contribution to a world of sex and desire.
In the ad, we get Elvis’ hit “Can’t Help Falling In Love” as background while we witness a city devolve into total chaos by virtue of all the hyper-intense male-female attraction going on. The niceties of life are left to slide as mesmerized lads and lasses alike let all hell break loose as their desires take hold. Crashes, fires, explosions, accidents, total insanity is everywhere. The ad really is an Occupier’s wet dream. But rather than being in service of revolution this little revolt is based in the power of sex – attraction if you will. And it’s rooted primarily on smell, which is kind of funny because that’s something the Occupiers managed to get a lot of ribbing about last time they led the news.
I have to say, as the music, TV and movie industry become jokes on themselves with their sad attempts at rebellion (as every exec running everything is over the age of 50) it’s nice to see a massive multinational like Unilever position it’s little Axe brand as the real rebellion youth are looking for. It’s ludicrous to be sure, but it certainly fits in with the currently unenlightened understandings of what constitute rebellion and anarchy today.
When your protests are predicated on more paternalistic goodies like education, student loans, free rubbers, health care and guaranteed day jobs (plus all the iPads and iPhones you can carry) I truly doubt anyone is going to be reminiscing about these times in song years from now. The real romance of revolution comes from the pursuit of a goal bigger than one’s individual self – freedom, usually. Tying your demands down to the niceties of life is petty and trite......and really kind of sad. Which is why Occupy is to revolution, as true anarchy is to some smelly body spray. Look, Unilever doesn’t want real anarchy any more than the Occupiers do. Unilever would lose millions if people simply took what they wanted from stores – and Occupiers would throw a fit if their revolution actually led to a serious lack of WiFi and the inability to secure a half-Caf, chai latte for less than $7.
In fact, about the only thing of immediate interest here is that the Occupiers might think about handing out containers of Axe Anarchy during their next round of protests so they can keep their events on the pleasant side. Don’t worry though – I’d never expect them to buy it. Hopefully some corporate conglom looking to profit over the long run could sponsor them by handing it out. Now that’s modern. Revolution by Occupy, scent by Axe Anarchy. I can almost hear the protest songs now. What rhymes with lame?