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Can an advertising campaign be TOO effective? - Barking up the wrong tree

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Yes. And smelly.

This post really made me laugh.

The Axe ads were so effective that a bunch of losers started buying it, which hurt the brand. :)

How can a brand avoid such a success disaster?

Overall, this may have been effective in getting them exposure and putting them on the map -- certainly better than being ignored and flopping.

That said, they didn't target well enough and ended up diluting brand equity. If you say this will help ANY guy get girls you'd better think a lot about which of ANY will gravitate toward it: the man who is already appreciated by ladies or the very very desperate boy...

Ironically if they had been specific that Axe is just for douschebags, they'd likely have appealed only to their target market.

And you're right that at least the ads were successful.

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