Positive Marketing Axe / Lynx
Positive marketing has become a real trend of late, and for good reason. We’re collecting some of our favourites in this regular series.
As if in response to our recent look at Dove’s famous “Campaign for Real Beauty” a few months ago, parent brand Unilever has launched “Find Your Magic” for its Axe (known as Lynx in the US) product range. It’s taken a while for a product long associated with outdated, narrowly-defined laddish masculinity and blatant sexism to catch up with the positive power embraced by Dove. Here’s how they got there.
Axe started surprising people when its Keifer Sutherland-narrated “Susan Glenn” advert aired in 2012. Telling the story of “the one who got away”, this was a softer, dreamier campaign by BBH New York that won high praise for delivering a “refreshingly out of character” message.
#KissForPeace aired during the 2014 Superbowl as part of the marketing strategy for Axe’s Peace fragrance. In an interview with Time, Axe’s Senior Marketing Director, Matthew McCarthy, talks about the research undertaken with the Millennials in college and university they want to target: “Being relevant is more important than anything else,” he says. “If you’re not relevant, you’re nothing to young people.” Agency BBH returned to develop the epic advert, which partnered with the Peace One Day charity. It was a huge viral success which continued to widen Axe’s marketing horizons.
Find Your Magic
Developed by the agency 72andSunny, Amsterdam, this 60-second spot shows a multitude of men in a whirlwind of stereotype-smashing clips. With the boom in men’s grooming habits and products, Matthew McCarthy emphasised in a recent feature the new direction in Axe’s marketing which “…champions real guys and the unique traits that make them attractive to the world around them.” The fact that advert has been so well received is proof that they’re onto a winner here.
In conjunction with the initial “Find Your Magic” advert, Axe are also running “Instagroom” series of video shorts showcasing various style tips. From hair styling to how to iron a shirt, one of the spots even features a woman giving tips on how to style a mohawk.
Axe have also pushed against heterosexual notions of masculinity in their adverts. One billboard campaign dubbed “Androgynous Kiss” shows two men on the verge of a kiss. Another advert in Australia actually shows a kiss as a man flicks through television channels. In the words of 72andSunny’s Executive Creative Director Carlo Cavallone, “We wanted to make it as inclusive as possible. We wanted to give to guys a sense of confidence and liberate them from stereotypical bullshit about what it means to be a man.”
They’re doing a pretty good job so far.