Something Smells Funny

I decided to look at male and female body wash commercials’ differences for the blog post. I chose to watch multiple commercials produced by Herbal Essences, Dove, Axe, and Old Spice. I quickly realized that companies selling/advertising body wash products targeted gender specific consumer groups. Here are some of the commercials I watched:



The Dove commercials and Herbal Essence commercials always featured a female by herself on the screen at one time. The female would emphasize the products ability to improve the quality of the user’s skin. The Dove commercial showed an example of the body wash’s ability to moisturize skin in the form of a vase filled with marbles that represented the females’ skin and blue liquid that represented the body wash. The blue liquid seeped through the marbles showing that the was went more than skin deep and caused the skin to be healthier.

The Herbal Essence commercial showed a woman taking a cold shower, however there was steam in the shower and the glass was covered in fog as if the shower was hot. The woman seemed to thoroughly enjoyed her Herbal Essence organic/orgasmic shower and when her husband asked about the water temperature was bothering her she exuberantly stated “NO!”  The Dove commercial and the Herbal Essence commercial stated their product would make skin softer, smoother, look younger, shimmer, and reduce wrinkles.

The male body wash commercials were focused on the males appeal/appearance to females. The Axe body wash commercial emphasized the ability of the soap to wash away any amount of dirt. Axe offers a body detailer to scrub off the after your dirtiest adventures (which is essentially a loofa…).The man in the commercial seemingly controlled the women around him after using the body wash. He was able to orchestrate almost twenty women to simultaneously remove their bikini tops because of the power Axe body wash has over females. Axe commercials have slews of half naked women in all of their commercials. One slogan I read at the end of a commercial was “the cleaner you are the dirtier you get.” Axe body wash uses sex as its main/sole selling point for their body wash.

The Old Spice commercial emphasized the masculinity of its users. The commercials suggested if you are a strong male, you have a strong odor, when you are working hard, you need a strong body wash (real men use soap). The recently famous Old Spice Man uses taunts to antagonize average men to use Old Spice or their partners will never find them as attractive as they think he is. In these commercials I felt like Old Spice uses masculinity against its target consumers insisting that if you don’t use Old Spice you cannot be considered an alpha male.

Dove, Irish Spring, Motel samples….whatever is in the dish works for me. As long as people are using soap I don’t think it is a big deal which brand people choose. Just thought it was interesting how much emphasis that the companies selling these products put on the advertising they use when they are targeting the two different gender groups.

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About jcole053

Trying to graduate from Old Dominion University this Spring!
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2 Responses to Something Smells Funny

  1. I think with the women’s body wash what is emphasized is that spending time in the shower is something you do for yourself. After a long day of caring about other people you can have this retreat where all you have to care about is yourself.

    The men’s commercials are saying that bathing is something you do for others, specifically other women. Therefore its okay to splurge money on scented soaps (because you’d probably just as soon use a motel sample) because it actually makes you more of a man.

    • jcole053 says:

      I definitely got the impression that women’s bathing/showering process was something women could do to wind down or treat themselves. The commercials left me under the impression that the premium soap would enhance the relaxation. It makes my mind spin when I think about how so many activities and products my mind instantly links to specific genders, such as women to bubble baths and men to showers.

      You make a great point that it makes you more of a man, in the sense of the connotation I associate with the word during the blog. When I pick out soaps and colognes for myself I heavily rely on my girlfriend’s opinion. If the scent is appealing to her I continue to buy the product. I’ve been wearing the same cologne since I hit puberty because of females’ positive reaction to the scent.

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