Somehow has Axe manages to do the seemingly impossible in the 60-second version of its 30-second Super Bowl spot, created via BBH London, and go beyond the racy approach that has marked most of its previous outings -- without entirely sacrificing scenes featuring a hot girl and a hot guy making out.
The spot, just released on YouTube, introduces the Axe Peace line, and opens with shots of military helicopters flying over what seem to be South East Asian jungles and a tank driving down the streets of a destroyed city. A Kim Jong-un lookalike appears, along with his partner, as does a generic Middle Eastern world leader, poised to press an ominous-looking button.
But this is an Axe ad, so world destruction is probably not in the cards. As expected, things turn out to be much more focused towards love, rather than war -- perhaps the result of despotic world leaders finally managing to get their hands on some Axe. The Middle Eastern leader is shown shirtless at the end, getting a liberal spray.
Rupert Sanders of MJZ directed the spot, which closes with a plea to support a nonprofit organization called "Peace One Day." A shorter version will run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. A microsite invites you to share your own #KissforPeace. There is also a print component to the campaign, which you can see below.
Axe creative has over the years moved away from an approach that showed its prowess in helping men get beautiful women. Instead, it has, via spots like "Susan Glenn," showed men and women on an equal footing, with a relationship that is beyond physical.