In a world filled with war, what is the most powerful weapon?
As part of Axe’s #kissforpeace campaign, Axe first debuted this ad for their new product, Axe Peace, on the internet and then revealed a shorter version during the commercial breaks of the Superbowl. The ad’s tagline, “Make Love, Not War,” initially seems to indicate that this ad will be different from Axe’s usual sexist romps.
David Kolbusz, deputy executive director at ad-agency BBH London, said that those creating the ad were concerned about how it would appear to have a brand profiting from images of war, so they decided to give $250,000 to Peace One Day. While this amount sounds generous, it is less than half of one percent of the more than $9 billion in profit made by Axe-parent-company Unilever in 2012.
Four storylines play out in the advertisement: the Vietnam War, World War II, some type of military event in North Korea, and a perceived bombing in the Middle East. These stories are cut together with almost no words throughout the commercial or in the non-diegetic music playing over the images. The ad creates nostalgia for wars of past, such as the Vietnam War and World War II.