Ah, the Super Bowl. You know, the sporting event that interrupts the much-anticipated Super Bowl half-time ads. And this year — in keeping with Discovery News’ tradition of tracking any space references in Super Bowl ads — we have another couple of “spaced-out” ads inspired by “sexy” astronauts and space babies.
A sexy bikini babe is struggling in the water. A buff lifeguard dude on the beach spots her and — yikes! — she’s about to get eaten by a shark! Said lifeguard dives in, punches the shark, rescues the babe. She looks deep into his eyes and– whoa! a random astronaut strolls down the beach! Forget the lifeguard, astronauts are sexy! So she runs off to the astronaut — who, by the way, looks waaay geekier than the lifeguard (cuz astronauts are just geeky guys with rockets, right?). And… that’s about it. The End. (Watch the ad here)
Sure, I get the Axe marketing campaign — an ‘average’ guy washes/sprays himself in an Axe product and the girls go wild and disrobe. Score! — but the thrust of this particular ad is for the Axe “you can win a ride into space” Apollo competition. The campaign has been helped along by the king of space marketing himself, Apollo astronaut legend Buzz Aldrin, who appeared in a video last month announcing the competition.
The assumption has been that the Axe competition is only open to guys, but it’s not. After a little sleuthing by budding British astronaut Kate Arkless Gray — who, understandably, took a dislike to the apparent sexist campaign — a Lynx UK (that’s Axe, but the UK version) spokeswoman responded to her query with: “Women can enter this competition, if they were to make it through to the second round they would not be at any disadvantage.” Kate has entered the competition and hopes to be voted for one of the 22 suborbital flights on a XCOR Lynx spaceplane. You can vote for her here.
Stereotyping around a male-centric product to one side, I do agree with Axe on one thing: nothing beats an astronaut. But women (not just men) also put their lives on the line exploring the final frontier.
As for the shark punch as depicted in the ad, you know Discovery’s stance on sharks. We love sharks. I look very dimly on any depiction of shark punching, no matter how comedic or how sexy the soon-to-be shark chum. Sorry Axe, I’m sending you to the naughty corner on this Super Bowl effort.
Forget astronaut stereotypes for the time being, it’s time to talk babies. Space babies. Space babies of all cute shapes, sizes and species. Parachuting to Earth. (Watch the ad here)
The Kia ad starts out in very familiar territory — a family drive encounters that awkward “where do babies come from?” question. To which a bumbling dad launches into a fantasy land of space babies. You have to wonder what he was smoking prior to getting behind the wheel, but it made for very entertaining viewing and a welcome break from GoDaddy’s awful “a geek can snog Bar Refaeli” (plus nasty sound effects) and annoying “Gangnam Style pistachios” ads. But it’s still not as good as the screaming Denny’s chickens of 2010, the Chevvy doomsday pick up trucks of 2012 or the Bridgestone “Jump Around” astronauts of 2009.
Note: These views do not necessarily reflect those of Discovery Communications.