Popular men’s grooming brand Axe is, once again, challenging masculine stereotypes with a powerful new ad and social media initiative.
Released Wednesday, the “Is It OK For Guys?” commercial highlights a number of tough questions that many men privately struggle with. The identity-based questions are heard in voiceover (”Is it OK to not like sports? Is it OK for guys to wear pink?”) as images of diverse men appear onscreen. Some reference sexuality head on: “Is it OK to be a virgin? To experiment with other guys?”
The new commercial is a follow-up of sorts to 2016’s “Find Your Magic” ad, which featured a vogue-ing dancer and two men sharing a flirtatious glance in an effort to to deconstruct “outdated views of masculinity.”
The “Is It OK For Guys?” clip was based, in part, on a study produced by Axe’s research partner Promundo, which examined what many real-life men were searching for on Google. “We know that young guys are struggling with their own masculinity,” Axe’s Global Vice President Rik Strubel told HuffPost, “but what their research uncovered was truly eye-opening.”
The commercial kicks off Axe’s Find Your Magic Initiative, which aims to “create a society where there is no wrong way to be a man.” The company will partner with Ditch the Label, an anti-bullying organization, to launch a “new digital network” in support of men who are struggling with “toxic masculinity.” Additional activities and resources will be announced throughout the year, Strubel said.
“We believe guys should embrace what makes them truly unique and authentic,” he explained. “Our aim is to create a healthier, more equal world by reaching men and women with this message.”
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