The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Author

By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 12, 2013 | 3 min read

It was a great idea from Axe, especially with space hero Buzz Aldrin, fronting it - Send 22 people into space. As Buzz says on the video, "Leave a man. Come back a hero." Trouble is, of the top five contestants so far, two are women.

At number four is Justine Ezarik, the internet celebrity known as iJustine, who entered the contest "because she really wanted to go to space,"reports AdAge.

At number five is popular Tumblr user Molly Pfaff. Challengingly, she wrote on her blog: "Axe says they're 'scouring the world for a few brave men' to send to space," adding, "How awesome would it be if a woman actually won this thing?"

Then there is Veronique Parker at No 11, who is an aerospace student and calls herself a ' space nerd.' I voted for her.

The copy on AxeApollo.com has since been changed. It now reads "civilians" in place of "men."

Matthew McCarthy, senior director of brand development for Axe North America, said he was "not surprised" so many women are keen. The campaign is gender-neutral, he insists. He said the U.S. site has always made it clear that women and men could join the contest.

But still, on the U.S. site, AxeApollo.com, the landing page still reads: "Leave a Man. Come back a hero."

"Because we're a male-grooming brand, none of our consumers are surprised when we direct things towards guys," said McCarthy. "We talk as a male-grooming brand."

The contest, announced last month, invited peoeple to sign up to join the Axe Apollo Space Academy.

The two who by April 27 have the most votes on the contest's U.S. site will be invited to come to the Axe Space Camp in Orlando. They'll join the winners from the other countries at Global Space Camp, where they have a chance to join the International Space Crew.

Ms. Ezarik is fairly confident she will be one of the 22-member team that will actually go into space. She said that she has experience in zero-gravity situations where she has seen "grown men puking their guts out."

There is a good chance the Axe contest will be won by an internet celebrity, says AdAge. Jesse Wellens, currently leads the voting, and Chris Smoove, in third place, have been posting videos and tweets asking fans to vote for them.

As for being trapped in an enclosed space with an Axe body spray user? Ms. Ezarik says she wouldn't mind. "If I'm in space, I don't care."