Axe wanted to increase brand awareness among young men in Indonesia. To make its products more relatable, the company created a series of videos following the journeys of three men overcoming life's challenges. Axe promoted the video series across multiple channels, encouraging young Indonesian men to determine what kind of "Axe Man" they were. Axe's campaign engaged more than 15 million Indonesians.
Objective and Context:
Axe wanted to strengthen brand awareness of its men’s body spray product in Indonesia without launching a new innovation. Unfortunately, in a collective and patriarchal society like Indonesia, male attractiveness is conveyed through wealth and power, not through scent. Axe sought to inspire men to celebrate individuality over wealth and power. It wanted men to realize that celebrating who they are as a person is what makes them confident and attractive.
Many young Indonesian men have started taking more unconventional routes to success, from founding start-ups to pursuing careers on YouTube, becoming the new icons of masculinity with the help of social media. Axe saw an opportunity to leverage the trend and celebrate their stories.
Axe’s target audience was young male Indonesians.
Axe repositioned its brand message and inspired Indonesian men through influencer stories to convey the importance of personal grooming. With 60 percent of YouTube users in Indonesia comprised of men consuming five billion videos per month, Axe captured their attention through a video series.
The 12-episode series celebrated the respective journeys of three Indonesian men. These key influencers were chosen not because of their popularity or their status, but because of how they were able to overcome life’s challenges in their own way, ultimately “Axelerating” their lives.
In Indonesia, the target male audience consumes more than 93 percent of all digital media on mobile. Axe’s strategy had to follow an integrated multichannel campaign with mobile in mind to maximize reach and effective awareness:
Overall Campaign Execution:
Creating quality content was critical to Axe’s campaign. The company worked with a highly respected movie director to tell the stories of three influencers in a cinematic manner and draw the consumer into the narrative. Axe implemented its content targeting approach and developed it over the campaign by tweaking the creative aspects based on consumer responses.
Brand lift surveys were used to give valuable feedback on what worked and what needed to be improved so future episodes could be optimized for better engagement and video viewership. This allowed the story to evolve, with the consumer being a part of the campaign. Axe started seeding content through social media to gauge consumer interest and better target the consumers who showed interest. It created bumper ads with branded, functional content to strengthen the links with the product category and build brand differentiation.
Video delivery and streaming in Indonesia is a challenge, with the country suffering from a 48 percent stall rate. Axe used zero-buffer instant play HD video technology on mobile ad networks to deliver its content. After each video, an interactive quiz engaged the viewer to help him determine what kind of “Axe Man” he was. Users selected their favorite music, dressing style, and place to be before scanning their thumbprint on their mobile phones to unlock the results of the quiz.
Axe was a leader in its category of men’s body spray, but it wasn’t appealing to a new generation with its old messaging. Product sales were declining and the brand was losing market share. Axelerate Find Your Magic was the most successful campaign for the brand in Indonesia. Axe engaged more than 15 million Indonesians, recording a viewership of 30 million minutes in total. Average view rate exceeded all existing industry benchmarks at 24 percent, and organic views on YouTube reached 20 percent. One of the episodes reached a view-through rate of 43 percent, which was a record in itself.
Mobile technology allowed Axe to launch a successful mobile video campaign. With zero-buffer instant play HD video technology, the mobile video initiative was successful with, a 17 percent engagement rate and a 90 percent video completion rate.