Axe - Make Love Not War

February 02, 2014 | 1:00

“Make Love, Not War” introduced the Axe Peace line but continued a shift in Unilever’s Axe advertising away from earlier promises to directly help men get women. This spot, by BBH London, 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 things turn out for the better.

Rupert Sanders of production powerhouse MJZ directed the ad, the conclusion of which includes a logo appearance for the nonprofit organization "Peace One Day." Like many Super Bowl ads as costs have grown and media platforms have proliferated, “Make Love, Not War” was part of a broader campaign designed to make the most of 30 seconds of Super Bowl time. A microsite invited consumers to share their own #KissforPeace, and a print component showed toy soldiers arm in arm with toy beautiful women.

This is a minute-length version, released more than two weeks before Super Bowl Sunday, of the 30-second spot that Axe actually aired. 

Axe returned to the sidelines of the Super Bowl in 2014 but bought a 30-second spot in 2016's Super Bowl 50 ("Find Your Magic") that moved even further from the brand's earlier focus on titillation. 

Director: Rupert Sanders. Production Company: MJZ. Executive Producer: Debbie Turner. Producer: Laurie Boccaccio.

BBH deputy executive creative director: David Kolbus. Creative team: George Hackforth-Jones, Szymon Rose, Daniel Schaefer, Jack Smedley. Product Design: Rosie Arnold. Producer: Ryan Chong. Assistant producer: Laura Graham.

Sound: Strings & Tins. Sound designer: Will Cohen. Sound: Factory. Music: Woodwork Music. Composer: Philip Kay. Post production: The Mill. Editorial: Work Post. Editor: Neil Smith.

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  • BrandAxe
  • Year2014
  • AgencyBartle Bogle Hegarty
  • Superbowl #XLVIII
  • Quarter airedQ3