Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

The Battle of the Big Three
January 5, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: ,

For the past few years there’s been an intense battle going on between the Big Three. And no, I’m not talking about Ford, GM and Chrysler. I’m talking about the Big Three of men’s cosmetics – Axe, Old Spice and Dial.

While Axe and Old Spice have taken on the extreme approach in appealing to men – beautiful women unable to keep their hands off (Axe) and the concept of being macho and manly (Old Spice), Dial seemed to fly under the radar in their advertising. Not anymore.

Dial’s new campaign included the company in a battle for the best, machoest shower gel. A man dressed for the office discusses cleaning the “man-suit” walking through a rugby game, bowling alley and other places where “real man” activities occur (axe throwing and sawing wood?).

Often described as the “budget” brand, Dial’s new approach will definitely include it in the fight, but is it to little too late? In the way that this category of advertising has evolved, probably not.

Although some may think otherwise, these images of manliness just might be the defining factor in pushing sales for these brand. In a society where a man no longer has to hunt, fight and protect his territory, there are less and less ways to prove oneself to the potential mate. At the end of the day, we are still hardwired for survival of the fittest which also goes for choosing the best partner.

So when spears, clubs and aggression no longer do men justice, they turn to another way of appealing to potential partners. Smell.

Now here is the difference between the three brands. Axe appeals to the late teenage, early college young man, recently independent and always ready for a good time. Old Spice on the other hand touts experience and most recently the gentlemanly swagger that comes with its products. Dial seems to appeal to the everyday macho-man, the lumberjack, axe-throwing, bowling man.

Will this hold true and actually work? Only time can tell.


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