I noticed today that they’re already running a cleaned-up version of the Axe “Cleans Your Balls” commercial. It got me wondering how the original ad got aired in the first place, how the notions of acceptability in the mainstream have shifted, etc., etc. But it also reminded me that I honestly don’t know where the line is with that sort of thing.
Let’s say somebody made a commercial for a feminine hygiene product called, oh, Dewy Meadow(tm).And in this commercial, two women are in the kitchen making tacos, and talking about how they’re going to go out on the town later. Suddenly, a guy in a ski mask with a hatchet bursts in through the door, menaces the ladies, and strikes one of them on the arm with the hatchet, leaving a gruesome bloody gash. He’s flailing, and on the way out, he knocks over a big bowl of taco meat, showering the ladies with it.
Once he’s gone, the two women gather themselves and take stock of the situation. The one that didn’t get cut notices the gash on the other woman’s arm, and remarks that she’s got a seriously dirty ax wound. The cut woman goes, “Oh my God, my ax wound is dirty, it’ll never be fresh in time for our night on the town,” or whatever.
And the other woman goes, “not to worry,” and produces a bottle of Dewy Meadow(tm) douche, and tells her that, with Dewy Meadow(tm) douche, her axe wound will be clean as a whistle in no time. And they smile and mug about it, and there’s a cut to a picture of the bottle of Dewy Meadow(tm), with the tagline:
“Dewy Meadow(tm): Freshen Up Your Ax Wound.”
Now, can anybody tell me how that’s any different from Axe’s “Cleans Your Balls” ad? Because I truly, honestly don’t know.