Listen to Kiefer Sutherland wistfully grumble about a high school crush in an ad for Axe

Axe, purveyor of men's shower products, is not known for their subtlety in their commercials. Kiefer Sutherland is similarly not known for being a gentle and romantic type of person. But now, both have subverted their usual respective approaches to advertising and acting and the result is Kiefer "WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, DAMNIT" Sutherland reminisce about a girl named Susan Glenn, a fictional crush from years past. And unlike other Axe ads, she's not sexually unhinged over shampoo. Prepare yourself, because your day is going to be thrown off completely. This is a bizarro commercial. (via Gawker)



  1. Here’s hoping Sutherland becomes the next Morgan Freeman for documentaries because he does have a pretty great voice for that sort of thing.

    Getting him out of goofy TV dramas would be a plus too.

        1. Yeah.  According to that, the meme surfaced in May of this year, so it was most likely created by the advertising people as a set-up for this campaign.

  2. This ad is totally irresponsible! It will sell environmentally dangerous quantities of Axe to teenage boys. Keifer Sutherland just helped destroy the fresh air of classrooms all over the continent.

    1. A few weeks back, I was in the supermarket at the same time as a large family with a number of “spirited” young boys.  They scattered off into several directions to destroy displays and annoy other customers.  The true hero, though, was the one that appeared to be about 6 years old.  He was alone, in the deoderant aisle, systematically but liberally applying every body spray he could find to himself.  That must have been an awesome car ride home.

      1. Growing up in New England in the middle of the last century, my school mates all had names like John Smith and Bob Jones.  It may not have been intentional, but our parents did a brilliant job of anonymizing us.

  3. Business Insider just had an article about how the old Axe commericials were too successful and it nearly destroyed the company.  I thought it was interesting.

    1.  Shows what happens when you make really impossible claims or suggestions in your ads, people still believe them and start acting them out.

  4. So women can now be either whores or goddesses in the imaginations of Axe execs.  I guess that’s progress.  Sort of.

    1. Ah come on. Buck up. It doesn’t say anything about Susan Glenn, for all Keifer knows she could be a slutty, amateur astronomer with a fierce passion for beekeeping. Dumb, idolatrous crushes are a pretty genderless phenomenon (ahem, every teen girl crush from David Cassidy to Edward Cullen).

      Plus, it’s not like they can advertise based on their actual product as that stuff smells horrible.

      1. Maybe they could just start including an intoxicant.

        Hey kids, check out new and improved Axe!  Now with free vial of GHB!

  5. Watching Neil Hamburger rip Axe in only the way that he can  (“preferred deodorant for date-rapists,”) on Twitter has been a real joy.

    “a fetid, sugared-and-fermented-manure stench, which acts as a virtual mating call to the TV-addled, party-fried pig girls whom these dopes are trying to fill with their tainted seed,”

    AXE’s master chemist seems to be developing their various fragrances by dumping varying amounts of Hawaiian Punch and/or Country Time Lemonade into the trough-style urinals at Dodger Stadium during the top of the 9th inning—the end product an amalgam resulting from the capture and replication of the the resulting combination of odors. The product’s appeal would seem limited to the unintiated, yet, almost as a challenge, AXE’s cynical marketing team is set on expanding their market beyond the lucrative world of beat-driven dolts. These “pied pipers of shit” hope to convert innocents through flashy free entertainment, lending their name and money to dubious “viral” comedy videos—recruiting third-string (one step up from me) comedians to disgrace themselves in vaguely obscene short films,57032/

    1.  That over-the-over-the-top approach makes me wonder if he’s actually working for them, because it’s simply not that bad. It’s not good, mind you, but better by comparison to “fetid, sugared-and-fermented-manure stench” etc.

  6. I will totally listen to Kiefer Sutherland say anything. He is the only reason I watched Phone Booth after all. 

    I’ve had a crush on him since I was a little girl watching Young Guns with my father. In which btw for a outlaw he is quite gentle and romantic. Ha!

  7. That is beautiful. Really. Up until they toss the “Fear No Susan Glenn” tagline on the end. Mark my words. Whoever wrote the script for this and/or came up with the concept is not the same person as the one that added that onto the end. It changes the whole tone. 99% of the commercial is a wistful, “man, I wish I’d been bolder in high school” thing. The last 1% is “don’t let those hot chicks intimidate you, dawg”. It goes from being about you wanting to be a better person to her having done something wrong. Which makes me sad for the person who came up with the 99%. Of course, you know, it’s Axe. 

    This reminds me: My sister-in-law teaches high school in Milwaukee. She says the boys these days often use Axe in place of showering. So, when someone makes this same ad 40 years from now, maybe the regret can be “God, I wish I hadn’t smelled like a dead French whore.”

    1. I agree, it is very nice and even touching in a weird copywriter way. If I could do it again I’d do it differently, too. I suspect many would.

      1. The prize for growing old is a complete awareness of what an idiot you were as a kid.

        (plus the willingness to warn everyone younger than you what an idiot they’re being, and eternal frustration that it never has any effect)

    2. Maggie – I think the whole commercial works well from this guy’s perspective of 42 years with a number of these sorts of unasked-out-women in my past.  The fear is quite real — and entirely something that the guy gets worked up in his head — and has vanishingly little to do with anything (if anything at all) the woman may have said or done to this guy.

      Most guys, in time, recognize that the girl did nothing wrong and it was their own fear-laced myopic stupidity that prevented them from asking her out in the first place.  I hate to be seen to endorse Axe body spray in any capacity, but I think the whole commercial works — I took care of the 99% wistful on my own — but a little 1% “man-up” and ask her out is exactly the advice I could have used in high school.  And I think it works well beginning to end.

      The counterpoint to this commercial, of course, is that you never much think about the ones who you asked out and were turned down or, for that matter, the ones you asked out with and went on a lousy date or two.  The ones you think about — hell, the only ones one really thinks about in your deep past — are the ones you never bothered to ask in the first place.

      1. Absolutely agree. Fact: Girls have these same emotions and memories. ;) 

        I just wish the little tag had been “Don’t Have Regrets” or “Ask her out” or, you know, something like but better. If that makes sense. I agree it needed the message of taking action. But the way they presented that message seemed out of step (to me) with the rest of the tone. YMMV. 

      2.  Exactly, there’s a line about her being ‘too perfect’ as he walks past again, her (and her friend, suggesting they’ve talked about it) look up and smile, but Susan’s smile fades with disappointment as the viewpoint whips away.

    3.  “God, I wish I hadn’t smelled like a dead French whore.”

      You’re too good for the ad industry, Maggie.

  8. This could totally work as a horror movie trailer by just changing the end to have Kiefer saying to the mirror, “She’ll pay for ignoring me.” Then bass thump and smash cut to title. Something like “Obsessed” or “Stalker”.

  9. Uh, doesn’t the ending make it sound like he’s going out to stalk and hunt down Susan Glenn?  Someone should warn her. I would, but I don’t want it to get back to Kiefer.

  10. Nice to see Keifer not ziptie someone to an ugly metal  chair and shoot them in the kneecaps with a .40 caliber glock.

  11.  I would’ve been the guy providing cover for Keifer with Susan’s friend at the window. A much prettier girl there!

    But seriously, the ad reminded me of Jean Shepherd’s stuff,  à la Wanda Hickey, specifically the Daphne Bigelow story in that collection. Kiefer’s delivery is even done in Shepherd’s style of speaking. If all you know of Jean Shepherd is The Christmas Story, you’re missing out.

  12. That was great and I don’t even care that it’s an ad for Axe – if anything that’s a good thing because it means they’ll hopefully phase out their earlier, obnoxious ads.

    Mainly though I hope that whoever is behind this gets their shot at a real movie (or a good TV show). I think it’s great if advertisers want real quality like this but it’s doubtful these people want to do advertising the rest of their careers.

  13. Reminds me how I consider people claiming to have no regrets to be kinda thoughtless…

    Sif no regrets. If you had no regrets, shouldn’t that mean you either lucked out with a score of 10,000,000,000/10,000,000,000, or that you’re incapable of introspection?

    I’m pretty sure having a litany of regrets /= being a twisted wallowing mess.

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