Masculinity, Symbols, Wheelchair

Axing Stereotypes With The First Disability Inclusive Ad of 2016

You might say New Year’s resolutions are about axing old, misguided habits and Unilever’s newest TV commercial for Axe body spray does just that by shifting away from stereotypical machismo to feature a broader interpretation of masculinity.

The announcer says “you don’t need heels when you ride those wheels,” and the commercial cuts to a man in a wheelchair dancing with his date at a prom.

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72andSunny Amsterdam executive creative director Carlo Cavallone shared in Adweek that “Axe has always been at the forefront of culture and with ‘Find Your Magic,’ we’re out to liberate guys from pressure and bullshit, and empower them to be the most attractive men they can be—themselves.”

Matthew McCarthy, senior director of Axe and men’s grooming at Unilever shared in a press release that “Masculinity today is going through seismic changes. More than ever, guys are rejecting rigid male stereotypes.”

My hope for 2016 is that this ad won’t be one of only a handful, but that it will kick start conversations over the next 12-months for brand managers, marketing directors, writers, designers…and ultimately consumers. No matter the brand, every advertiser has the power to easily integrate people with disabilities into their advertising, commercials and campaigns. What are you waiting for? Find your magic with diversity and inclusive advertising.

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