There’s Something About Susan

I don’t normally wax poetic about commercials (partly because I don’t own a television, so commercials are a rarity in my life as it is), but I’m absolutely in love with the Fear No Susan Glenn ads. I just saw the web commercial last night, which doesn’t even tell you what it’s selling—it just has a cryptic hash tag displayed at the end. I was so intrigued that I looked it up, only to find out it was an ad for Axe body products. Wow, really?

The gist of the commercial is that every guy (well, and every bisexual woman, lesbian and sexually curious teenager) has a “Susan Glenn.” She’s the archetypal adolescent obsession: that girl who always seems to have perfect hair and plump lips, who is smart and funny and confident, who makes you forget how to hold a conversation, who fuels your daydreams and makes you so full of longing that you feel wonderful and sick to your stomach, all at the same time. And when you grow old, you’ll regret not talking to her, because she could have changed your life forever. Basically, you should have used Axe, which could have given you the confidence to overcome your fear and get your Susan Glenn. Longing, lust, obsession, sex, fear, regret: it’s some powerful stuff packed into 60 seconds.

It actually reminded me a lot of The Virgin Suicides (the book, not necessarily the movie), which has that same haunting, ethereal texture that straddles the line between reality and fantasy, never leaving you fully satisfied. I was obsessed with Lux Lisbon for weeks, and she’s not even real. But it was the idea. It’s like catching a drifting waft of perfume that catapults you back in time to your cold high-school hallways, when you’re walking up to her, your heart racing and your mouth dry, trying to decide whether or not to say hello or to walk by like you didn’t notice her—and then you look around, only to realize you’re actually 30, standing in line at a convenience store to buy crappy coffee and a lottery ticket, and the perfume belonged to some 13-year-old with ratty hair and black nail polish. Or whatever. Anyway, I guess my point is: Axe, I dig it.

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