DEODORANT ADS WAGE BATTLE OF SEXUAL INNUENDO

New TV Spots for Gillette's Tag Mimic Tactics of Competitor Axe

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Gillette Co. today breaks the first ads for Tag body spray in a campaign that looks very much like that of the brand it's out to counter -- Unilever's Axe.
Gillette's Tag marketing is taking on the same sexual overtones as Unilever's Axe.
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Arnold's first Gillette work
The estimated $50 million "Consider yourself warned" campaign by Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston -- the agency's first work for a Gillette consumer brand -- includes a series of humorous vignettes showing the sex-laced consequences of using the body spray.

Unilever's Axe, which launched in the U.S. in August 2002, uses a similar approach with humorous, sex-laden ads, including a TV ad in which a woman becomes attracted to a mannequin after it's sprayed with body spray, and radio ads for a fictitious law firm, Huckster & Huckster, that seeks to represent young men who are sexually harassed due the deodorant's irresistible effect on their female bosses. The mannequin has since become a star in his own right, making TV appearances and "writing" a column for Playboy.com. The brand has since expanded into roll-on antiperspirants and into a body wash, with ads to support the latter scheduled to break later this spring from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York.

Tag ads
The first crop of Tag TV ads similarly feature a man besieged by amorous women in a store, a man aggressively hit upon by his girlfriend's mother and another victimized by a female professional wrestler when she catches a whiff of his body spray during a match. The ads will air on Fox's American Idol, 24 and The Simpsons as well as CBS' Late Night with David Letterman and ESPN's SportsCenter.

Print ads breaking in April editions of men's magazines such as FHM and Maxim will take a similar tack, with one including a pocket card that translates the sentence "No sir, I did not have foreign relations with your daughter" into four languages.

Online ads on Web sites such as Bolt.com, ComedyCentral.com and Google lead to consideryourselfwarned.com, which has a "Hide the Hotties" game and a viral effort that invites guys to send stalker e-mails to their buddies from fake women.

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