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THE AXE EFFECT- GETS YOU MORE THAN BEFORE
Mandeep Singh Ankush Bhatia
IILM Institute for Higher Education
COMPANY PROFILE AND PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
HUL or Hindustan Unilever Ltd is a subsidiary of Unilever, one of the world¶s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe with annual sales of ¼40.5 billion in 2008. Unilever has about 52% shareholding in HUL. Hindustan Unilever was recently rated among the top four companies globally in the list of ³Global Top Companies for Leaders´ by a study sponsored by Hewitt Associates, in partnership with Fortune magazine and the RBL Group. The company was ranked number one in the Asia-Pacific region and in India. The mission that inspires HUL's more than 15,000 employees, including over 1,400 managers, is to ³add vitality to life". The company meets everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care, with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. It is a mission HUL shares with its parent company, Unilever, which holds about 52 % of the equity. HUL¶s brands -- like Lifebuoy, Lux, Surf Excel, Rin, Wheel, Fair & Lovely, Sunsilk, Clinic, Close-up, Pepsodent, Lakme, Brooke Bond, Kissan, Knorr, Annapurna, Kwality-Walls - are household names across the country and span many categories - soaps, detergents, personal products, tea, coffee, branded staples, ice cream and culinary products. They are manufactured in over 35 factories, several of them in backward areas of the country. The operations involve over 2,000 suppliers and associates. HUL's distribution network covers 6.3 million retail outlets including direct reach to over 1 million. PRODUCT PORTFOLIO FOR HULFOOD BRANDS- 3 Roses, Kissan, Annapurna, Knorr, Brooke Bond, Kwality Walls, Lipton, Bru PERSONAL CARE- Axe, Lifebuoy, Breeze, Lux, Hamam, Pepsodent, Lakme, Sunsilk HOME CARE- Active Wheel, Rin, Sunlight, Surf Excel, Domex, Vim etc.
AXE is a cool, iconic, youth brand available in more than 60 countries around the world. It was launched in India in 1999 and has already become the largest selling Male Deodorant in India. Apart from the deos, Axe also provides a grooming range for the young Indian male, viz. Shaving Gel, Foam, After-Shave lotion, and Cologne Talc. Each fragrance of Axe is a scent of desire, created by the international diva of fragrances; Ann Gottlieb. The formulation is a base with higher efficacy to help men in attracting the fairer sex better than ever! And need we say anything about feminine attraction? You need to be a true Axe man to handle it all! The Axe Effect - Gets you more than before! Axe deo was launched in India during 1999. The brand launch was very quiet and theoretically the brand was having the strategy of Slow Skimming i.e High Price Low Promotion. Axe at that time was the leading men's deo brand in Europe and was popular in India in the Grey market ( available in duty paid shops) .HLL may have launched this brand inspired by the volume of Axe sold in the Grey market. At that time, the deo market was a nascent one with an estimated market size of Rs 72 crore. HLL had the brands Denim and Rexona and was ruling the market. Axe was priced at a premium above the Denim brand which was positioned as a male deo brand. Axe initially was launched in the fragrance Java, Alaska and Atlantic. HLL did not bother to fine tune its Promotional mix to Indian market but just imported the promotions.... Meaning, the company just ran the ads which was popular in the Europe and other markets. AXE PRODUCT RANGE- AXE also has a some good product range for it`s customers which includesAXE Deodorants- Axe inxtinct, Axe Dark Temptation, Axe Pulse, Axe Denim, Axe Click, Axe Touch, Axe summer, Axe Dimension AXE Shaving Gel, AXE Cologne Talc, AXE after Shower Gel AXE After Shave Lotion- Axe Inxtinct, Dark temptation, Axe Pulse, Axe Denim
COMPETITORS FOR AXE IN EACH PRODUCT CATEGORY
DEODORANTS- Nike, Park Avenue, Adidas, Set Wet Zatak, Wild Stone SHAVING GEL- Park Avenue Men, Gillette, Dettol, Old Spice, Palmolive, etc AFTER SHAVE LOTION- Gillette, Park Avenue Men, Denim, Palmolive, Old Spice, etc. AXE AFTER SHOWER- Palmolive, Parachute, Park Avenue, Gillette After Shower Gel
AXE AD AGENCY
Axe advertised it`s products through many companies but the main and the foremost company which advertised products for Axe is Lowe Lintas. Founded in 1939 as a part of Hindustan Lever, Lowe Lintas is one of India¶s largest and most storied communication groups. Headed by Chairman and Chief Creative Officer R. Balakrishnan (Balki) and CEO Charles Cadell, Lowe Lintas employs over 650 people across eight divisions and nine cities all over India.
Today, Lowe Lintas India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Interpublic Group, and one of the star offices in the Lowe Worldwide network. Headquartered out of London, Lowe Worldwide has over 80 offices in 73 countries and a client roster that includes Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Ericsson, Sharp, Saab and many more. Lowe Lintas India leads global and regional communication for several Unilever and Johnson¶s Baby brands. We are a guiding light for Lowe offices in South Asia.
AXE TARGET CONSUMER AUDIENCE
Axe is the naughtiest brand in the Indian market. The brand is targeted at male aged 16-25 . Internationally this brand targets male aged 15-25. We personally feel that it targets all 'Young at heart" naughty guys. The brand has its brand values of Cool, Fashionable and Stylish. And world over, the brand sticks to its core values. The biggest strength of this brand is the underlying message or the DNA which is that the brand users are High on Confidence and always for the Axe users, Girls Makes The First Move. We think the biggest competitive advantage of this brand is its complete monopoly over this brand proposition. All its campaigns revolve round this central theme of Seduction where Girl makes the first move. The brand assumes that Men want (Likes) to be seduced. That feeling (of being seduced) gives a big boost of self confidence to a man. Although many brands take this proposition, Axe just made it perfect. Body spray and body wash brands like Axe, Tag, Swagger, and Magnetic Attraction are hot commodities for young males. The problem is the males are much younger than the brands' target audience ± sometimes as young as 10 years old. Axe has positioned itself as a male brand having brand value like cool, fashionable and stylish and targets mostly youngsters ranging between 18-24 years old.
OBJECTIVES FOR AXE
y Introduce AXE Body Spray to trend-setting 18-24 year old males in select markets.
y Leverage Nightlife and Promotions in a cool, sexy, fun way to showcase brand identity y To help men in attracting the fairer sex better than ever!
THE FCB GRID
Thinking 1 Informative The Thinker Feeling 2 Affective The Feeler (AXE EFFECT)
3 Habit formation The Doer
4 Self Satisfaction The Reactor
The Affective strategy is for highly involving/feeling purchases. For these types of products, advertising should stress on psychological and emotional motives such as building self-esteem or enhancing one¶s ego or self-image. Axe comes under the affective strategy as it advertise its products on emotional and on psychological basis and comes under feel, learn and do category i.e. customer first feels then learns and then go for the product.
AXE PROMOTIONAL AD CAMPAIGNS
The Axe Body Spray advertisement shows an average-looking guy being pawned over by multitudes of gorgeous girls. The guy keeps on spraying Axe all over his body and while he¶s doing this, girls from everywhere are clamoring to get close to him. He has on his face an expression of utter bliss, while the girls have the looks of pure longing. This advertisement is just one of the many in Axe¶s marketing campaign that portrays Axe products as powerful tools to attract women. The entire campaign differs in the scenario presented but all convey the same message. 2. The execution methods used for this advertisement are: fantasy and mood or image. Fantasy was clearly employed in Axe¶s commercial. It 's a presumption that man is always thinking of the opposite and what it is like to be a chick-magnet. Capitalizing on that need , Axe has came up with a body spray that it is marketing as the perfect answer to a man 's ultimate desire . What the advertisement is telling the male audience is that through Axe Body Spray, a man does not need to look like Brad Pitt to have gorgeous women fight over him. Axe has the solution to that Related to that marketing pitch is the mood or image that Axe could improve or enhance. Should women smell Axe on a male¶s body, their mood would change and they¶ll be spellbound to the man wearing the spray .The advertisement also touches on image because it aims to boost a man¶s confidence when wearing the body spray. Because advertisements have powerful effect on the subconscious, the man wearing Axe Body Spray would start to believe that he has become better looking than his average self and would start behaving with more confidence. Axe has got every thing perfect for its success, it got its segments correct, the targeting was exemplary and positioning: something to drool for. We have seen lot of ads where girls are seen drooling over Hunks in Motorcycle or in Ready-mades, or even in Innerwear¶s, but in most of the Axe ads, there are no Hunks, only very ordinary or even skinny kind of people getting assaulted by beautiful girls. That makes the brand more approachable. Had Axe used a Hunk, the promotions couldn't have been so effective. The brand managers were so wise
that when they used a celebrity like Ben Affleck, They ensured that the brand is made approachable. Having said that, The males seen in Axe commercials are not Losers: the ads are careful to show them as confident ( in one way or other) or a better term will be self assured. That is ultimate execution. The power of this Big Idea has ensured that Indian consumers lap up the foreign commercials without any hitch.
Along with these, the brand also ensured that customers are constantly engaged with new fragrances and campaigns. In 2005, Axe had a high profile launch of its new fragrance CLICK and before that there was Axe Land campaign and followed by Axe-Academy then Axe Voodoo and the latest one Phenomenon. I have tried most of the fragrances and not all of them are good, but I try it because I like the brand. That is the power of brand.
Axe is one of the rare brands that has embraced new media to the maximum extent. The brand has started its Internet based marketing initiative in India with Axe Land which involved a virtual trip to the Axe world. Globally also this brand has lot of online initiatives which are almost always naughty. One of the reports term the marketing strategy of Axe as ³Adventurous Marketing".That is true because its risky because the brand deals with Girls & Seduction. Not always every one may like the theme or the campaigns. In India especially there are self styled Cultural Policemen/Women who cries foul for anything and everything. It is really surprising that so far, Axe has escaped their AXE. That also shows that the ad agency is also careful about the concepts put across the Indian media. While in a more liberal markets, Axe tests new levels of " Adventures" , here the brand plays really safe. It also ensures the campaigns run in Indian media is accepted because most often its the entire family who watches the TV. I know I just have touched the tip of Marketing Iceberg called Axe.
CONSUMER RESPONSE MODEL STAGE- Affective as a category in the India Market is high and the target population is aware of personal a health care product which caters to body odor remedy product. So Axe focuses on creating attitude, likability of the products.
SOURCE, MESSAGE AND CHANNEL FACTORS FOR AXESOURCE- Media vehicle, Postures, promotions, events etc. MESSAGE- Unique fragrance ³AXE EFFECT´- Humor and Fear Appeals CHANNEL FACTORS- Incorporates both external and internal channels. DESIGNING COMMUNICATIONKey Message- The Axe effect- Get you more than before. The advertisements used by AXE involves simple messages which is easy to understand Humor: Its the highly affective method of communication as it takes the little time to take the message across easily . Fear: the fear that of social acceptance, because of body odor.
IMC RECOMMENDED MIX FOR AXE
WORD ADVERTISING SALES PROMOTION OF MOUTH
INTERACTIVE MARKETING EVENTS AND EXPERIENCES
SALES PROMOTION- RECOMMENDED FOR AXE:
y y y y y y SAMPLES PREMIUMS CONTESTS BONUS PACKS PRICE OFF DEALS EVENT MARKETING
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