Axe Body Spray has a new set of TV ads based around the standard "Bom Chicka Wah Wah" riff often associated with porn. If you haven't seen them already, you can catch a few of them here, here and here. The commercials are somewhat clever and mildly amusing, but I don't use Axe and I don't ever intend to. I just can't get used to the idea of spraying glorified deodorant all over myself. I digress.
As part of their "Bom Chicka Wah Wah" (their spelling, not mine) promotion, they commissioned about five girls dressed in white tank tops, jeans shorts, work boots and hard hats to stand around a pickup truck parked at Monroe and Dearborn and shout "Bom Chicka Wah Wah" and various other catcalls at men passing by. The truck was adorned with the "Bom Chicka Wah Wah" logo - as were their hats. From what I could tell, they weren't giving out free samples of anything, they were just standing their shouting at all of the men that passed by. My co-worker and I were heckled by those girls as we walked by.
I was a little weirded out by the whole thing for a few seconds (all of you women out there are probably saying, "Now you know how it feels." For the record, I'm pretty sure I don't know how it feels since I most likely don't share the same sensitivities and vulnerabilities as a woman.) until I realized it was a just a promotional stunt - and a poorly executed one at that.
Here are a few of the many problems I found with this promotion:
1) It's not immediately obvious that these women are supposed to be at a construction site. They just seem like badly dressed women hanging out by the curb.
2) The women were shouting and calling at every man that walked by. The promotion is for Axe. You'd think they would have another station further down the street handing out samples and then the girls would only call out to them. The way they did it would make you think that no one needs Axe Body Spray. Which turns out to be exactly correct.
3) The women were not attractive. Guys will gravitate towards attractive women. There are no shortage of attractive women in Chicago. However, there may be a shortage of attractive women who are willing to hang out by the curb in revealing attire because they don't want to feel like prostitutes.
4) There were no signs anywhere indicating what the hell they were supposed to be selling. If you weren't familiar with the commercials - which I wasn't - you had to look it up. I did, but only because I wanted to make fun of it on my blog.
5) Axe is one of the stupidest products ever. The people who buy it are even stupider. On second thought, this campaign might work like a charm on their target audience.