Axe Instinct – The Power of Leather Curves

Axe Instinct, a scent introduced in 2009, is being promoted with a 3D animated television commercial featuring a woman in leather. The new Instinct has combined the fragances of cardamom, amber, and atlas cedar to produce a spicy scent of leather.

Axe Instinct Power of Leather commercial

The Swedish team, Againstallodds, worked with Blacklist to produce the new commercial, beginning with the inspiration of a piece of leather and a set of print advertisements. What they came up with was the concept of a woman whose sensual movements are revealed in the rippling curves of dark leather.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Power of Leather ad was developed at The Brooklyn Brothers, New York, and Againt All Odds, Stockholm, by creative director Derek Picken (againstallodds), art director Johan Moberg, executive producer Josh Thorne (againstallodds), production coordinator Rima Kassar, producer Johan Gustavsson.

Filming was produced at Blacklist by executive producer Adina Sales, producers Alexander Unick and Karen Lawler, lighting director Robert Krupa. Special effects and visual effects were produced at Milford Film, Stockholm, and Animation AB. Audio finishing was done at AudioEngine.

Music, “Moodswing”, was composed by Pedro Margues and Jean-Paul Wall and sung by Saphir Cristal Stoffels Fernandes Tavares. Sound was mixed by Carl Mandelbaum.

Axe Instinct Power of Leather commercial

Behind the Scenes with Againstallodds

Q: This spot is a bit of a creative departure for you. Can you tell me about attracted you to the job?

againstallodds: To create this spot we were given a piece of leather and a print campaign and were told bring it to life. This spot is like nothing else on our reel and we were excited to create something we had not tried before. We really wanted to build on the dimensionality of the forms in the leather so that everything really moved naturally but had a enough definition and abstraction to draw people in. We were really attracted to the mixture of darkness and nakedness. It really seemed like something we wanted to see move.

Q: The texture of the leather is very detailed. Tell me a bit about how you created this look, what tools you used and if there were any challenges.

againstallodds: We began this project with a photo shoot with real actors and the leather laid out on a flat bed. We took moving references with naked models to show how the body moves and the leather reacts to different light setups. Then we edited everything together to make a rough timing. Animation and simulation followed and was a mixture of Maya nCloth and Houdini to make everything come together. The simulation was a great start and gave dimension to the leather but we really wanted to have control over some of the smaller details such as muscle and bone and they were getting lost in the simulation, so Milford lighting developed a special shader that took information from a more detailed mesh of the body and applied it to the leather simulated cloth.

Q: It’s a very sexy spot too. Can you tell me a bit about that?

againstallodds: That was something we really worked hard to keep. Doing sexy in 3d can be a tricky thing. Since everybody knows how humans move and are very sensitive to what’s not right even the most subtle movement can prove to be hard to recreate. We were very lucky to have a great photo model strip off and go through the timings and poses to block everything out so that we had great reference in the animation phase. On top of that we worked a lot with the shadows and lighting to reveal and cover sections of the body so that the silhouette and feminine curves really stood out and that the rest of the body became abstract.