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Critically Analyze The Promotion Mix Strategies Adopted Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 2781 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Axe was launched in France in 1983 by Unilever. It was inspired by another of Unilevers brands, Impulse. Unilever were keen to capitalize on Axe’s French success and rolled it out in the rest of Europe from 1985 onwards, later introducing the other products in the range. Unilever were unable to use the name Axe in the United Kingdom and Ireland due to trademark problems so it was launched as Lynx. The European launch of the deodorant was followed by success in Latin America and moderate impact in Asia and Africa. In the new millennium, the brand has launched with great success in the United States and Canada. The company has also consolidated its deodorant portfolio by migrating other overlapping male deodorants into the Axe brand such as South Africa’s Ego brand.

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Opportunity in business is absolutely everywhere. A company hardly even known a little over a decade ago is now a pioneer in its field. Axe deo spray has built a legacy and a fortune on it’s commitment to remove the stink of other men’s bodies and they’re proud of it. That’s been a starting point and since then they’ve diversified into a range of men’s toiletries from fragrances to aftershaves. Axe has now like many companies set its sights on India and for a sector that many aren’t interested in, the competition from Indian brands has just begun and is on the way to becoming bigger.

Segmentation:-They create different segment for buying their product like special advertisement for female deodorant and special for male. E.g. we can take the example of wild stone which target only male consumers. The segmentation was done at the age level and at the gender level too. Because the youth was targeted and it is mainly targeted the male segment as shown in the ads of axe deodorant.

Brand positioning:-due to this they create a special image in the mind of customers what is specialty of this product and try to focus on this specialty.

Advertisement:-through advertisement they create a brand image in the mind of customers and also try to motivate the customers for buying it. E.g. axe deodorant advertisement creates a sex appeal in the mind of the customer especially they target the youth generation.

Place in retail store or any shop:-when any company launches product in the market major things do is arrangement of product in retail store. When we go for buy product in retail store what product we see while we want to take product. Then we check quality of product and if we fill it is good then we buy it without any hesitation. So place in retail store play major role when buy the product.

Internet marketing:-as I have already discussed that most of youth population use internet for daily purposes or reading purposes. So internet marketing is best way to attract the customer.

Packing style and spray nozzle tip:-packing style plays an important role to attract consumer because some of the customer attract with color and packing style of the product. If the bottle of deodorant is attractive then most of the customers attract. Spray nozzle tip also very important. If it will for three side most of the young generation attract because they want style and comfort.

Brand Name: Axe

Product Type or Description: Shower Gel

Category for this Entry: Beauty Aids

Campaign Title: How Dirty Boys Get Clean

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty LLC

Media Agency: Mindshare

Client: Unilever Home & Personal Care

Marketing Challenge


In 2002, Unilever introduced the Axe range of deodorant body sprays into the United States. The success of the launch surpassed all expectations. Within two years, A Nielsen had recognized that Axe had become the number one male deodorant brand in the country. A position it still holds today. However, Axe’s arrival in the marketplace changed much more than the share composition of the deodorant market. Competitive male grooming brands took notice of the new product form that Axe introduced to the US (deodorant body spray) and launched competitive (and in the case of TAG, Gillette’s new body spray identical looking) products. Additionally competitors began to mirror the emotional approach Axe had taken to communicating. Before Axe, the category spoke very rationally to guys, showcasing gloriously sweaty armpits and high tech solutions to keep you sweat free. Axe differentiated itself by speaking emotionally, with no mention of product efficacy in any communication. The promise of the ‘Axe Effect’ was incredibly simple. Spraying on this product will can help get girls. Girls simply love the smell of it. The Axe effect became part of our targets vernacular, and strong fragrance credentials were established for the brand.


In 2004, we were tasked with launching the new Axe range of shower gels. A range of scented liquid shower soaps, branded by the same variant (or flavor names) as the range of existing body sprays. The Key marketing challenges:

1. At the time of launch, the male shower gel market in the US was in relative infancy. To succeed, they would need to instigate a fundamental shift in showering behavior. They needed to convince guys to throw away that trusty ‘bar soap’ that more than 90% of our target were using (and were very happy with) at the time.

2. Find a credible way to extend the brand to a new product form so soon after the brand launch. Remain true to the master brand mission of giving guys the edge in the mating game. They needed to find a credible role for this new product in the lives of the target.

3. Make the most of the double barreled recruitment opportunity: 1. Recruit existing users of Axe Body spray to extend their Axe repertoire into the shower 2. Recruit those who are into the premise of what the Axe brand is about, but don’t like the idea of a deodorant body spray.

4. Differentiate ourselves once again in a male grooming market that had become increasingly similar to them. Position Axe as a leader in this category, despite not being first to market .Old Spice already had several body wash sku’s at the time of launch.

Campaign Objectives

Drive mass awareness of the new Axe shower gel range: Achieve a 63% Total Brand Awareness by Q4 2005 Achieve 3.5% annual dollar share of the total body wash segment in 2005. $35 Million dollars in retail sales Build upon the master-brand’s key personality attributes of cool, masculinity and up to date. Use the launch of shower gel to build on the perceived sophistication of the Axe brand, which was starting to be considered sophomoric by the some of the older guys that had been using the brand for a couple of years, without alienating the younger guys.

Target Audience

The Axe core target is 11-24 year old guys, who quite simply obsess about hooking up with girls. The creative bulls-eye for this campaign was 21 year olds. This represented a shift to an older group to target than the body spray (and brand) launch work (up from 18). It’s not until guys leave home to go college, or enter the workplace that they start to buy their own personal wash products. Additionally, we were looking to use the launch of shower gel to increase the perceived sophistication of the Axe brand in totality. Shifting up the age to a 21 year old would hopefully steer the creative to a more intelligent, more sophisticated tone of voice.

This is a group of guys that have a very low level of involvement with personal wash products. They put little or no thought into what soap they use in the shower, and will use whatever is already there (what Mom bought) or whatever is cheapest or on sale at the supermarket. Chances are at the time they used a bar soap (more than 90% of the target audience used one at the time) which they felt worked perfectly adequately for them at that point in time.

Creative Strategy


Instinctively, they gravitated to leveraging their fragrance credentials and bring them into the shower. The fragrance message had worked brilliantly for the body spray, proving to be a plausible, credible conduit to attracting the ladies. The shower gels had the same body spray fragrances infused within them, so we thought it wouldn’t be too much of a leap for consumers to be convinced by messaging activated off a brief of ‘The Axe Effect is now in the Shower’. How wrong they were. Agency research put them in their place. Firstly, guys simply did not believe that a shower gel product could leave you with a long lasting fragrance in the same way that a body spray could.

Secondly, a fragrance driven ‘AXE effect’ message would not alleviate the concerns had guys had about the efficacy of a shower gel product. The bar soap that they currently used worked well for them, and kept them clean.

Lastly, we discovered that there was an underlying perception of shower gels being a little feminine, a little metro sexual. A fragrance message only added to this perceptual barrier. Guys needed to believe that this shower gel product could keep them as clean as their bar soap currently did Period. Clean…Axe can’t talk about clean, we are a fragrance brand, and we don’t talk about rational product truths. The challenge became to find an Axe-like way to talk about cleanliness that was rooted in a motivating truth. First thoughts of messaging around ‘the clean guy gets the girl’ seemed preposterous. Girls don’t like guys because they don’t have dirty fingernails. We commissioned an ethnographic study to dig even deeper into our guys showering motivations and habits. Here we learned about the shower to wake up, the shower to prepare for a night out, the shower after sport, and most interestingly, the shower many of our guys take immediately after doing something that they are not particularly proud of. The company branded this the ‘The filthy shower’. A shower you take after you have done something perhaps a little ahem ‘filthy’. A strategy was born. They would position AXE shower gel as a product that could give you a spiritual as well as physical purification. ‘Axe shower gel keeps filthy boys looking squeaky clean’ should work well as a strategic platform. Not only would it turn the necessary ‘clean’ message guys needed to hear into something inspirational, it creates clear distance from the functionality of the body spray. It reinforces the promise that the body spray works to attract girls, and the shower gel can remove the filth you have experienced as a result. This appeared to flatter existing body spray users (by the brand acknowledging success with the ladies) and make those who don’t use the body spray feel that they must be seriously missing a trick. Lastly, it gave the brand the freedom to communicate in a way that is true to its DNA. Emotional, humorous, masculine and rooted in fantasy. It would reinforce our guys belief that Axe knows how I wished the world really worked

Media Strategy

DIRTY MEDIA- Media needed to ensure our ‘dirty message’ reached a mass audience, and continued to surprise and delight our guys, hitting them when they least expected it. A ‘dirty media’ strategy was devised to amplify their dirty messaging. They wanted to hit guys as best they could when they were either having ‘dirty thoughts’ or indeed doing ‘dirty things’.

For mass media: Placement of the TV advertising including Baywatch, Blind Date, Laguna Beach, My Super Sweet 16, Next, The Real World, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Movie placement in American Pie 3 and The Hot Chick. Print steered the creative to dirtier babe laden titles such as Playboy magazine, FHM, Stuff and Maxim. Online, we bought banners in Sports Illustrated at a time that their swim suit edition of the magazine was running and ran a unique insert in SI Swimsuit Issue.

Additionally, Axe dominated the time and place where guys are dirtiest: Spring break. Axe effectively owned two of the largest spring break destinations for college guys in the country. Media bought at spring break included bar posters, hotel shower curtains, hotel mirror clings, floor stickers in hotel lobbies, cups in bars, bar napkins, elevator wraps, beach posters and bus wraps.


• Television

• Newspaper

• Consumer Magazine

• Point of Purchase

• Out of Home

• Public Relations

• Interactive/Online

• Other

Other Supporting Communications Programs

• Sampling on university campus

• Sampling handouts in cinema

• Spring Break

• Health Clubs

• Retail marketing in-store events

Push strategy

A “push” promotional strategy makes use of a company’s sales force and trade promotion activities to create consumer demand for a product.

The producer promotes the product to wholesalers, the wholesalers promote it to retailers, and the retailers promote it to consumers.

Pull strategy

A “pull” selling strategy is one that requires high spending on advertising and consumer promotion to build up consumer demand for a product.

If the strategy is successful, consumers will ask their retailers for the product, the retailers will ask the wholesalers, and the wholesalers will ask the producers.

It was a pull strategy

So clearly by looking at the definitions of push and pull strategies. I have come to the result that it was a pull strategy. Because company have spent a lot of money on promotions and the demand has been created by promotions and a grand promotion strategies through T.V, print media etc. the strategy was a big hit and consumers asked their retailers for the product, the retailers asked the wholesalers, and the wholesalers asked the producers and the company knew that they have been successful in their strategy that was a pull strategy. The innovative add made the curiosity in the consumers and they wanted to buy that product.

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Critical Appraisal of the Promotional strategy of Axe

It was a very good promotional strategy as far as the American audience is considered it was matured enough to see that kind of ads where the boy who has been using the axe gel was kissing the girl in whole ad and it did attracted the young consumer in America. Now these kind of ad cannot be shown in India. Because Indian culture is a different culture than America. So this kind of promotional strategy could only have been successful in America. Total Media Expenditures was spend $10 to under $20 million. As a results: Axe is the number one male shower brand in the Unites states.

Achieved market 6.7% by September 2005. This is close to double the yearly target (with 3 months left in the year to go). Reached Total Brand Awareness of 70% in Q2 and unaided awareness of 13% within 5 months of launch. Among guys who saw the Axe Shower Gel Wal-Mart TV creative, unaided brand recall for Axe Shower gel increased by 350%. Among this same group, top box purchase consideration increased by 240%. (Source Synovate research).The strategy led to creatively fertile work. The campaign resulted in 4 finalist nominations at the Cannes international advertising festival and won 2 Bronze Lions (1 TV and 1 Print campaign).

“The key to this success, in my view, is all based on the true partnership we have with BBH. This campaign has been the result of an iterative crafting process we both, client and agency, have been fully involved from day one.”

Carlos-Javier Gil Axe Brand Director

So after the success of this promotional strategy Carlos-Javier Gil Axe Brand Director said these words. So at the end we can say that it was a very nice strategy and also very successful one. Media needed to ensure our ‘dirty message’ reached a mass audience, and continued to surprise and delight our guys, hitting them when they least expected it. So it was a successful dirty media strategy also print media and T.V media was sending the same message by different tools. So at the end it was a very successful promotional strategy.


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