As if men didn't have enough to worry about, with all the sports viewing: prepare for "the biggest array of product launches for men in nearly a decade and maybe ever." Translation, fellas: corporate America's comin' fer yer balls.
In the Good Old Days When Men Were Men, the only fancy things a man was expected to possess were a razor and a watch, and possibly a nice Zippo for cross-burnings. But clever marketers figured out that simply by inventing a social expectation that men would adhere to the same grooming standards as women, they could create a massive new market for personal care products.
Ad Age points out that the first wave of this assault upon the testicular fortitude of the American male was the attempted hyping of the "metrosexual" lifestyle, which failed, probably due to skinhead stompings(?). But we are now mired firmly in the second wave. From fancy underwear to fancy shampoo to more fancy underwear, the newest marketing Malepocalypse has been broad-based. And it's about to get much worse.
Take this simple test, men: Do you have one of these items in your homes? It is a loofah. It is used for caressing oneself with body wash. Both a loofah and a body wash would have been unthinkable items in the bathroom of, say, Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation. But thanks to an easy bit of Axe advertising fuckery, the average man is not ashamed at all to be caught caressing himself with this loofah concealed in a rugged rubberized grip—a "Shower Tool." (Fittingly). The ball-shrinking truth: we are all potential metrosexuals.
Marketers who had heralded the arrival of the "metrosexual" last decade found the term tended to pigeonhole their products with a relatively narrow segment of upscale, fashion-conscious men. The reality is that the segment exists and has kept growing, but marketers seeking to sell such products as shampoo and bodywash to men are appealing to a much broader audience, too.
That broader audience: You, bro.