This Axe Commercial pokes fun at the gender stereotype that women like to cuddle while also presenting women as needy and dependent objects.
The advertisement refers to the “Axe effect” – when all men who wear Axe are so attractive that women cannot let them go. As a result of this, Axe came up with a brilliant solution for men, an inflatable man pillow “created to give you freedom”, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes such as skinny, bodybuilder, tanned, tattooed, and hairy. This shows how it is assumed that all women want/need a man to cuddle with. But what if she wants to cuddle with a woman or no one at all? The pillow illustrates how women are perceived as the “other” or Beauvoir’s “second sex” and are also objectified to the point that an inflatable pillow is sufficient enough to satisfy them.
This commercial making it look like women are laying in bed all day, preventing men from enjoying their freedom to take part in “manly” activities such as playing sports or video games (because only men have interest in those activities, right?). This not only relates to the culturally constructed notion that women are passive in nature (part of Butler’s gender-sex dichotomy), while the man is trying to go out and be active, but also to the culturally constructed gender roles assigned.
Overall, this commercial is outright sexist and plays on the gender stereotypes present in society.