#AbTeriBaari: Does ditching the sensual approach work for AXE?

AXE Deodorant 'Ab Teri Baari'
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AXE Deodorant’s Ab Teri Baari redefines society’s traditional rules of masculinity and is created in collaboration with Arré and Mindshare.

When recently Ponds ditched the beauty narrative to address a much serious issue of barriers faced by women; unless you see top label highlighting Ponds, it is difficult to identify what brand advertisement it is.

With its latest campaign, AXE deodorants too rolled up its sleeves to put forth a serious thought- albeit for the opposite gender. This time there is no hot man sauntering around. This time it is Ayushmann Khurana telling men to do what they want to do.

About ‘Ab Teri Baari’

With the music video titled ‘Ab Teri Baari’ featuring stories of Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, Dance Star  Dharmesh Yelande, YouTube Sensation ‘BeYouNick’ and the Made in Heaven actor Shashank Arora, Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrrana is trying to address ‘What does it mean to ‘Be a man?’.

Khurrana, who has defied stereotypes to become the face of content cinema in India, & Naezy – a rap/hip-hop star artist teamed up with Axe, Arré and Mindshare,  to find answers to this question.

Campaign Insight and Objective

Many boys in India still feel an overwhelming pressure to conform to masculine stereotypes. “There are many said & unsaid rules on how to ‘Be a Man’ – The way you look, the way you act & interact with your peers; even your career choices & hobbies are being judged through the lens of being ‘masculine enough,” affirmed Nippun Aneja, General Manager Deodorants & Men’s Grooming at Hindustan Unilever Limited

Axe wants young guys to feel free from the pressures of these ‘rules’, discover what makes them unique and work on it. 

The collaboration song composed by Clinton Cerejo is a call to action for Indian guys to stop worrying about the rules of society and the dreaded ‘Log kya kahenge’, focussing on finding what makes them unique instead. Built around Axe’s brand purpose of inspiring guys to express their individuality and becoming their most attractive selves, the song mirrors the brand’s communication platform of ‘Make Your Own Rules

Defying ‘Stereotypes’ via Influencers

Sunil Chettri exemplifies that ‘It’s Ok for A Guy to Share His Emotions’. We all remember the iconic moment where his heartfelt request to fans to come and support the Indian Football team’s matches lead to an outpouring of love and support across the country.

Also Read: Experts share what clicks in KFC India’s addHope campaign

YouTuber ‘BeYouNick’ stands testament to the fact that guys can explore their passions and be successful by doing what they love. Dharmesh Yelande inspires guys to not worry statements like ‘Dance Like A Man’. Shashank Arora laughs off ‘Men Must be Macho’ stereotype and charms his way.

While the brand has picked top influencers for the campaign, only Shashank Arora has shared it on his social media handles.

On Twitter however, influencers such as Miss Malini and Clinton Cerejo were seen talking about #AbTeriBaari.

Axe has claimed to be an iconic youth brand with communication deep rooted in Pop culture. The idea was to use Music & more importantly Hip Hop as a genre which has been recently quite popular among the younger audiences.

Ajay Mehta, Vice President, Content+, Mindshare commented, “ Each of them (influencer) has a unique story to tell which brings alive the brand’s narrative in a compelling manner. It’s a light-hearted piece of content which is fun, catchy yet inspiring.”

The song will be out across Arre’s social media platforms and partner network and has garnered 28 million views on AXE India’s Youtube channel.

Expert Take:

Adrine D’mello, Creative Director, Monk Media Network

Though I feel Axe is a little late to get on the rap bandwagon, the message of living your life by your own set of rules comes through, especially with the people they’ve used in the music video, each one of them have a strong connect with the millennials and went on to achieve their dreams without the odds in their favor but with a simple belief and confidence. Which is the messaging they’re aiming for, Shushhh the haters, do what you love and be the very best you can. 

Amit Panhale, Business Head of Team Pumpkin

I found the anchor thought for the campaign to very hackneyed and typical of how the target audience for the brand is perceived. The song itself isn’t catchy and words didn’t connect with me strongly. Possibly the only appeal to the campaign is the celebrities/artists used in it like Ayushman, Sunil Chhetri, Naezy who have a strong connect with the target audience of the brand.


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