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Offensive advertising from Rexona in Russia



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Offensive advertising from Rexona

In summer 2007 the brand Rexona led one of the most provocative Internet campaigns in the history of advertising in Russia. The site (does not exist at the moment) put a presentation, where Russian women were written about in an insulting way. Something like that they use deodorants less often than European women and therefore have a disgusting smell. Rather rude commercial was broadcasted not only in Russia;it showed the effects of unpleasant smell from the armpits.

Partly the campaign resonated with the national self-deprecating myth about Russian savagery. Since Tsarist Russia till present, many people believe that Russianslack civilization, that thelife in the West is arranged much better and wiser while in Russia there is always Asiatic way of life.

Thus, here it is the content of the scandalous site.


Something about women…

A girl from Russia is getting the Grand Prix…

For beauty!!!

… and charm!!!

A thought of a man: Why does she smell like that?

The quantity of sweat produced by a person can reach 10 liters per day!

But European women know what to do with unpleasant odor…

As for Russia it is more complicated…

As regards sweatiness people leave behind even horses. Seeing that a human perspires not only after having physical activities, but also when being nervous. “Odorousness” of human perspiration is affected even by spicy food: after tasting garlic and carry, you extremely increase your chances to smell “to high heaven”.

If a person is a right hander, his right armpit “emits a stronger odor” than the left: because his right arm is the operating one.

Sweat is an excellent material to research the processes taken place in a human body. Probably Russian women keep their armpit sweat for researches. Because, unlike the Europe, our women are not given to use deodorants.

Of course Russian ladies do not have analysed for sweat; actually they think (as shown in statistics) … they do not sweat at all!.. In case they do nobody will notice that.

Many Russian women aged from 17 to 40 think that their life is not so dynamic to use deodorants. Some of ladies are sure that deodorants are for “special occasions”… May be they are waiting for old age when a human sweats much less. Speaking of day and night, human sweats more toward evening than in the morning.

Deodorant is the first thing …

that an English woman takes leaving for holiday

English women

8 times more often

German women

6 times more often


3 times more often

Aren`t we shame?

Shame, fear, emotional stress, passion; in a word, feelings, are the main cause for sweaty hands and armpits. If we get a scare we will perspire even under the snow.

Nevertheless under-arm sweating only accounts for about 1% of our bodies’ perspiration. And the most important is that THE ARMPIT SWEAT DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS OFTHERMOREGULATION!

Sweat itself does not have a smell. What makes us think that the armpits stink? It does not just seem to us.

From the open surface the sweat evaporates fast but in the armpit areas this process is much more difficult;

Apocrine glands producing the special kind of sweat – the sweat which isthe natural breeding food for bacteria, are found in the armpit areas;

Bacteria waste products cause the odor;

In the armpits there are from two to five million of bacteria per square centimeter of skin.

So what does the solution look like?

To give your boyfriend flowers?

To wrap yourself hermetically?

The important thing is not to lower your arms…

… Or to use deodorant more often!

So what's the problem?

May be there are no deodorants in our country?

Every third deodorant bought in Russia is Rexona

Rexona Antiperspirants provide reliable protection against sweat odor

The word “Rexona” in the minds of people has already become the synonym of the word “deodorant”.

“Rexona” has won the competition “People's Choice Brand” in the category of deodorants.

Do not let the sweat odor to impress a seal upon you

The campaign had not passed unobserved and had become the focus of interest of angry bloggers, who at that time were the users of the main social platform of Russia - LiveJournal. One of the popular bloggers wrotethat representatives of an advertising agency contacted with him via ICQ, trying toorder some posts where it would be written that Russian women are pigs.

Each and everyone was indignant and called to fight with the advertising: to boycott the Unilever goods (a manufacturer of deodorants), to split flacons of already bought deodorants and put photos online and even to file a class action lawsuit against the brand.

It is not known whether the company raised the brand's sales as a result, but the mentions of it were lifted up without doubt. Besides, the presentation posted on the site has become viral, and parodies created by bloggers with it. A few days after the opening of the site the company closed it apologized;assuring that ithad not expected that Russian women would feel themselves insulted.

Below –there are some pictures parodies created by Runet users.

Glamorous piggies chose Rexona!

Comment: And that it is not good to offend consumers

Comment: Is it the same in an American version too?

Comment: Why does the voice sound so uncertain?

Comment: Granny, what great hands do you have for?

Comments: When a person works in a hot work shop or suffers from hyperhidrosis no deodorant will help.

Is she nervous after seeing posters in the metro? To show the consumers in a puddle – that is a “creative” move!

Comment: They wash themselves with flowing water!

Comment: By the way, the sweat is really taken for analysis. For example, when mucoviscidosis, a very serious chronic illness, is suspected.

Comments: Yeah, I`ve heard that they economize water in England. So I’m not surprised.

But in Russia we wash with flowing water. That is hygienic.

Comment: Are these tariffs for water?

Comments: Aren’t you shy, gentlemen “marketing experts”, “creatives”, “designers”, “PR experts”, “brand managers”?

I would feel shy to pour shit on customers.

Comments: under rats (the word “armpit” in Russian sounds the same like the word “mouse”).

Yeah, if instead of taking a shower you swear deodorant for a week bacteria will have a lot to devour.

Comment: To stop hanging out with pansies. Clear body odor is more pleasant for a normal man than the deodorant one.

Comment: Tee-hee, trick with a crazy glue works!

Comment: This guy is after no good. Look at his face! Chikatilo?

Comments: Judging by her facial expression it is a blow-up doll. They do not sweat.

What a nice guy! Picked so much boogers!

Comments: Wow! She is stoned!

If you shoot it through your veins, your eyes will be REALY BIG and any rubbish like a smell will not care anymore.

Comments: Unlike England we have got a lot of cheap water. And as a child we had been told a story about “Moydodyr” ("Clean 'til Holes").

Every morning, every evening,
We must play the washing game!

Comment: Do not tell me, a doctor, about the health. Ingredients are written at the backside.

Comments: Pss-Pss, russischenSchweine!

These synonyms aren`t enough for you, are these?

Do not let the pigs to impress a seal upon you!


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About the Author

Digital Strategist. Head of one of the project groups at RMAA. Maria started her journey in digital marketing in 2009. 

Author Maria Romanenko

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