Men are back or are they?

Whether it’s a myth or reality the metrosexual male created an entirely new code of masculinity. And the burgeoning personal grooming market has been enjoying every minute of it. So taking note of the hoopla and with a portfolio analysis in tow, I summarized that a few of the brands have slotted themselves ‘lifestage wise’, focusing on the vulnerable spots in each.

Men! Vulnerable!! Personal grooming!!! What do they have in common? Easy to conclude. The most obvious weak spot was in the mating game right? And who better to plug that gap than Axe/Lynx. As always, it picked you up at the oncoming of puberty and kept the hopes riding high.

I’d like to call this code of masculinity the ‘Don Juan symptom’. It’s really about the dreamer who wants to seduce and be the ultimate lover, but rarely gets beyond his dreams. Axe/Lynx is the antidote to this desire to be delicious & sexually irresistible. An eternal conquest, this is a code that is not about to diminish. Not ever. It is almost perfectly mirrored by the ‘Menaka (celestial apsara) symptom’ among Indian women which has been stoked by all personal care brands for more than half a century. i.e. the irresistible beauty who ensures an everlasting courting or honeymoon, year on year.

Axe/Lynx however has simply got more outrageous with its executions. From the unsuspecting, geek who’d be missed for a substitute teacher to a confident all knowing manipulative dude who plays. The engagement ideas have only boosted the adrenalin & reiterated their potion as an aphrodisiac. This new ad is apparently a contest for a real time yacht party!! Am adding a couple of others for some extra spice.

Axe Boat (Spanish version)

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Axe/Lynx Rise Shower Gel (an interesting new take)

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Not to be outdone by this hormone energizing body spray that hopefully catches them young and helps them grow (in the pubescent lifestage), recently another personal care brand has quickly stepped into the next one. The ‘aww shucks’ lifestage. This is the time when the party almost comes to a screeching halt. Lot of distractions. From making money, to finding a home, to taking loans, to looking responsible, to facebook relationship status stability, to possibly a single girlfriend, then a wife and kid etc. And in the midst of all that he has got to be an achiever too. This is the time he really misses his ‘mamma dearest’. What with all the bills, poop cleaning, laundry, cooking etc that re-affirms his metrosexual status. Which on fulfillment ensures reciprocal love & affection from partner!! He needs some TLC (tender loving care). Perfect for that time of the day, week & month, when pressure mounts. I call this the ‘Virginia Woolf in men’s clothing symptom’. The victims of this symptom are possibly balanced in every way but something is amiss.

That’s where Dove Men+Care range steps in. Hilariously recounting the travails & triumphs of a man’s life from birth to mid age, it finally lauds him as being comfortable with himself (when in fact he isn’t in reality), hence time for the comforting care of Dove. Is it a smooth transition from an overtly feminine & caring brand for the ‘real woman’ to finding the soft spot in the ‘real man’s’ life too!!!?? Time will tell.

Dove Men+Care (The song has a twin doing its rounds in facebook. Hilarious one about a mom & kid relationship)

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That brings me to the final one for this post. The one that deserves a bow. Here’s celebrating the re-birth of the alpha male (well almost). By a brand which has always been been so stubbornly male: Old Spice (The Mark of a Man). No amount of sub-branding/segmenting by competition has ever nudged the brand to change its DNA. And it’s come back to address the Bart Simpson in every man. It’s mid-life crisis and time for our man to get back to the pubescent days, except that the paunch just won’t go. However not one to give up he is recharged with his better status (affluence?), power at work (seniority) & maybe even a pepped up partner all ready for her second honeymoon. Just in time to tackle the ‘He-man symptom’. Men who see the signs want to re-claim the Adonis in them. And the women just want their men back.

Of course in India the men would just go buy an SUV. More of that later.

Old Spice: 2009

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Old Spice: 2010

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2 Comments

  1. Hi. Dove is a marketing gimmick. Why will a man buy a woman’s soap? Both Axe & Old Spice are at least male products. I find Dove quite feminine. But it is good that they didn’t behave like they were a female seduction brand. Then the Dove men could attract the Dove women. :-)

  2. I hope you will keep updating your content constantly as you have one dedicated reader here.

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