Revenge of the Axe Effect


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Companion presentation to our academic paper on the advertising strategy employed by Axe (Unilever). Course on advertising at the University of Leuven; twitterfeed: @KulAdv.

For more information, nudge me on twitter: @rozeridder

Paper by Hasse Boons, Sanne Meussen, Virginie De Mey, Jonathan Huyghe and Sophie Vanden Eynden (group 12).

Published in: Business, Technology
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Revenge of the Axe Effect

  1. 1. Revenge of the EffectPaper by Hasse, Jonathan, Sanne, Sophie and Virgine for @kuladv. Questions? Tweet @rozeridder
  2. 2. 1. Introduction
  3. 3. ° France, 1983 Owned by:Known as “Lynx” inthe UK, Australiaand Ireland
  4. 4. #1 worldwide brandmen’s grooming products
  5. 5. sold in over60 countries
  6. 6. products include deodorant, shower gel and aftershave
  7. 7. 2. Advertising strategy
  8. 8. theEffect
  9. 9. the Effect1. Buy AXE2. Spray3. ????4. Sex!
  10. 10. typical narrative:
  11. 11. a male protagonist...(not very hot, so young men can identify with him)
  12. 12. ...uses AXE... (which clearly establishesthe brand within the narrative)
  13. 13. ...and gets the girl(we’ll get back to these girls later)
  14. 14. AXE campaigns areinteractive, original, and digital
  15. 15. They effectively use humor andsexuality to attract attention, andaxe has received numerous awards for their campaigns
  16. 16. does this mean all is well with the AXE brand? we think not...
  17. 17. 3. Threats
  18. 18. #1 Believability (some things have even less of it than a presentation using Comic Sans)
  19. 19. Everyone knows you shouldn’t take the AXE effect literally, right?
  20. 20. using deodorant does make youmore attractive to the other sex, even if they can’t smell you:
  21. 21. These are the average ratings for men given by a panel of women, after seeing a video introduction they made 7 5,25 Attractiveness 3,5 1,75 0 Placebo Deodorant S. Craig Roberts et al.
  22. 22. These are the average ratings for men given by a panel of women, after seeing a video introduction they made 7 5,25 the “AXE effect” Attractiveness 3,5 1,75 0 Placebo Deodorant S. Craig Roberts et al.
  23. 23. not very impressive, is it?
  24. 24. But these guys don’t think so... (well, we’re guessing really, we found them on the internet)
  25. 25. #2. Hypocrisy
  26. 26. Remember these girls? (I bet you do)
  27. 27. They’re not exactly Dove’s idea of ‘Real Beauty’:
  28. 28. guess who owns both AXE and Dove?
  29. 29. the blogosphere already called them out...
  30. 30. if Unilever increases the focus on their overall brand, more people may notice it too
  31. 31. there is howevera bigger problem:
  32. 32. 4. Target audience
  33. 33. AXE wants its core group of users to be young adults (these guys)
  34. 34. however...
  35. 35. Axe is most popular among high school boys (these guys)
  36. 36. This is the market share of AXE (Lynx) deodorant in the UK (2007) Axe Other brands11-1718-2425-3435-4445-5455-74 0 25 50 75 100 Unilever
  37. 37. We believe Unilever needs to expand the target demographic for AXE products
  38. 38. There is a lot more room to grow in the older demographics Axe Other brands11-1718-2425-3435-4445-54 Potential for growth55-74 0 25 50 75 100
  39. 39. 5. Possible solutions
  40. 40. 1. Appeal to the30+ market too
  41. 41. We suggest a limited edition of AXE products that appeals to the 30-45 demographic
  42. 42. Regular axe can beseen as a desperateattempt to attractgirls... whereas the limited edition is the ultimate tool in the seducer’s arsenal
  43. 43. 2. Break the mold
  44. 44. Try to mix up this formula:
  45. 45. Why not use girls withan attitude instead of afetish for Axe for once?
  46. 46. 3. Add rational appeal
  47. 47. Axe stays vague about its actual function (which could use improvements as well)
  48. 48. Making a rational appeal canattract older demographicsand increase believability
  49. 49. but by all means, keep it light and humorous!
  50. 50. 6. Conclusion
  51. 51. Axe needs to grow up: the Axe effect has won over teens,but to attract older segments a change of strategy is needed. Axe needs to avoid being cast off as a brand for kids and high school boys