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GROUP ASIGNMENT 3
Submitted to: Prof. Freda J. Swaminathan FORE School of Management
Aayush Kad Anisha Malhotra Chitra Yadav Mukesh Goel Sucheta Sabarwal
91061 91067 91076 91093 91113
The Axe deodorant was first launched in the year 1983. It has been there in the market for the last 26 years and is currently the best-selling brand of Unilever. It has earned an iconic status in most of the markets it has entered. The story is no different for India. Axe deodorant was launched in India during 1999. It was launched as a high price product and initially the promotion was kept low. Axe at that time was the leading men's deodorant brand in Europe and was popular in India in the Grey market. 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 deodorant brand. At the beginning the product promotion was not fine tuned according to the Indian market and the same advertisements that ran in Europe were used for the Indian audience as well. Later the promotion was adapted according to the Indian sensibilities. Axe in 2002 was having a market share of over 35% and soon HLL phased out Denim brand to concentrate on this star performer. Axe markets itself as the naughtiest brand in the Indian market. The brand is targeted at male aged 16-25. All its campaigns revolve round this central theme of Seduction where Girl makes the first move. This has a lot of subliminal implications. The brand assumes that Men like 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. 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 Phenomenon. In the recent years, it has launched call me campaign.
Axe is one of the rare brands that have 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. Also to promote its chocolate variant, it declared November as the month of chocolate. Yahoo web page was used extensively to promote this campaign. Axe success in India is primarily based on its captivating communications strategy. It uses a wide range of media to engage with the consumers. Its success is very much evident from the fact that it is gaining acceptance in non-urban areas as well.
AXE used the following five communication tools for its promotion:
Advertising can be explained as a paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of goods. This is the tool primarily used by AXE as a mode of communication. In all its TV commercials, print ads and billboards, AXE has tried to attract people with its humour as shown in the ad below.
The ad shows that if you use ‘Axe’ then there will be seven Snow Whites instead of Seven Dwarfs, and all of the snow whites will be attracted to you. If a person is very thorough with a thing then they can say that the ad is depicting women as it shows women being completely overwhelmed by nothing more then just a deodorant.
(2) Interactive Marketing
Interactive marketing includes various activities and programmes designed to engage customers and directly or indirectly raise awareness. The company has a dedicated website known as http://theaxeeffect.com for promotion of existing AXE product line as well as introduction of the new products. Advertisements of AXE are visible all over the web in relevant web sites and the existing and prospective consumers can also communicate with the company in an informal manner through their official communities in various social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut. AXE also introduced various campaigns like “Call Me”, “AXELand”, “AXEfeather” for an increased customer engagement.
(3) Events and Experiences
Company sponsored activities and programs designed to create daily or special brand related interaction come under this category. AXE organizes upbeat events for its new product launches and it follows this strategy worldwide. Last year AXE successfully launched five variants of New AXE Score, Dimension, Pulse, Touch, and Vice, featured by an intriguing attraction wrapped up in a creative settings at Bunderan HI, Jakarta.
New AXE launch at Bunderan
Apart from its own product launches, Axe has sponsored a wide range of other events like youth festivals, music shows where it can have an opportunity to interact with its target audience as well as collect data for its market surveys. AXE has targeted its products for males aged 16 to 25, hence it has always projected its ads as if fulfilling some wild experiences which its target audience demand and thus gaining their attention.
“Getting the girl has never been easier, thanks to the AXE effect”. AXE has always promoted this idea and is evident in all of its advertisements and publicity stunts. Axe has the right storytelling element and the video reinforces the brand's provocative and contrarian personality, without constraints from TV and radio censors. AXE new products are always awaited among its supporters and the company has always used tactful strategies for successful launches. Press releases by the company have always enjoyed a huge audience base and rarely disappointed them on technicalities. It has always projected its products as cool, fashionable and stylish, these being the attributes customers want from a product like deodorants.
(5) Word of Mouth Marketing
A good product also requires a good promotion strategy. AXE ad campaigns have always been the talk of the town. The humor in the ads travels from person to person and thus creating a positive vibe throughout its existing and prospective customers. Through its ads AXE has always tried to capitalize on the hidden fantasies people have and bringing them up as a subject of discussion.
Packaging involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product. Growing Use of packaging as a marketing tool is now evident because of the following reasons 1. Self service 2. Consumer affluence: consumers are now willing to pay a little more for convenience, appearance and prestige of better packages. 3. Company & Brand Image: Instant Recognition 4. Innovation Opportunity
AXE keeps on innovating its packaging designs. The AXE deodorant bottles communicate a great sense of style, uniqueness and an upmarket feel which attracts its target audience that is the youth and also catches the eye of other people. Labeling, that is the printed information on the bottles, is also a part of the packaging. AXE chooses different designs for different variants making its presence more evident and stylish .
Different packages of AXE
AXE’s “Call Me Campaign”
Did you call 9987333333?
AXE is known for its cheeky, in-your-face campaigns that end up generating buzz, and its new thematic brand campaign, ‘Call Me’, is no different. Targeted at the young urban male, the cool and youthful brand is positioned as one that helps guys get ahead in the mating game. The new campaign, launched in early March showed girls swooning over Axe men and giving them their telephone numbers. Both films end with the girls giving the boys the number 09987333333. Through a series of ads in print, outdoors and television, viewers are being encouraged to call this very same number.
When you will call on the Axe number, you get to talk to Axe Girl "Tanya" who asks you about "AXE effect". Then you will hear the message like, ‘Hi, My name is Tanya. If I think you have the Axe effect you could win some great prizes like an iPod or, hey, even the latest iPhone.’, ‘If I say I’m cold, would you give me a hug? Yes or no? Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no’, ‘If I ask you to take me for a ride on your bike, would you?’ etc. As part of the ‘Wake Up’ service, Tanya would also call the person back at the predetermined time he has set for the next five days. This is the best Campaign to engage the consumer by using Mass Media to drive an on-ground activation exercise. It is not related to the sales of the Product that is why lakhs of consumers are calling on this number. Priya Nair, general manager, deodrants, HUL says that the company was targeting 10 lakh calls in three months but within a month of the campaign breaking they have received 27 lakh calls, 5 lakh wake-up alarm requests and 30,500 ‘Hey Axe man’ ringtones have also been downloaded. She says that most customers were pleasantly surprised to find Tanya on the other side. To give further momentum to the idea, the print campaign had ads creating hype about a condition called ‘numberitis’ affecting women, which was “a condition affecting women characterized by an uncontrollable urge to give away one’s mobile number to great smelling men.” Interestingly, Axe has also done an on-ground activation in the form of postcard branding where it has tied-up with Lee stores in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. When someone — ideally a guy — tries on a pair of jeans or a shirt in the store, he will find a Polaroid picture in his pocket of a beautiful girl with her phone number, or a visiting card with the number and the message ‘Call me’. The activity was done in 24 stores in where approximately 1300 Polaroid’s and 500 visiting cards were placed per store. The cards ensure guaranteed interaction with a focused target audience as the cards are placed in youth hang outs and cards — and thus the brand message — are being picked up voluntarily.
Axe campaigns have always been very integrated and are not linked to sales directly as the customer doesn’t have to buy a product to participate in a contest. It has always been a fun interaction between the brand and the consumer. So this time also customers were not hesitant to call in. With the 300 million plus mobile subscriber base in India, the mobile engagement model allows a scalable and personalized engagement activity. Axe has smartly leveraged this opportunity, allowing for a fun interaction between brand and buyer.
AXE CLICK CAMPAIGN
The axe undertook the click campaign in 2006 to promote its new fragrance “CLICK”. It was a pan-global campaign which was mainly targeted at young males. Their main objective was to start a social phenomenon called “Clicking”. The device used in this campaign was a clicker which was basically used for counting. It was distributed to the axe users around the world to keep a count of the girls they get along with. This campaign was well supported by the Axe websites. It proved to be a virtual world where guys could gather and share the information regarding “clicking”. This campaign was implemented in two phases. In the first phase a small teaser site with the name of www.clickmore.com was launched. Its main aim was to generate excitement around this
campaign and encourage males to use clickers. In the second phase full site was launched with additional features of an interactive game and downloads. In order to encourage competition among the users, each week top 'clickers' for each country have their name displayed on the weekly leader board. The top clicker of the week wins a prize and is also recognized in the hall of fame. This campaign also used television as a medium to interact with the consumers. The TV commercials featured Hollywood actor Ben Affleck as he was well suited to the role of an ordinary man getting female attention. This campaign turned out to be huge success with its website registering 2 million visitors. Moreover, this successful campaign was used as a central theme in newer markets like India, Thailand, The Philippines and Puerto Rico. The Click campaign is an apt example of successful interactive marketing which directly engaged its consumers with the brand although in a virtual world of internet. This campaign also used the sales promotion tool of contest which drew a quicker buyer response while adding value to the consumer by instilling more confidence in him. The campaign is also a good example of 360 degree marketing as TV commercials and events also supported this campaign along with the usual tools of interactive marketing.
NOVEMBER 2008- “Chocolate Month Of The Year”
Axe launched another campaign in November 2008 to promote its new variant Axe Dark Temptation in India. It was undertaken in association with Yahoo. It was 24 hour online campaign in which a dark man was placed in the centre of the Yahoo.in homepage on 14th
November. If anyone visited the homepage then this dark man was converted to chocolate man after the deodorant was sprayed on him. This man then goes inside the banner ad after which the real consumer engagement began. If the visitor clicked on this banner ad then the content on the homepage changed into the chocolate related stories and the logo of Yahoo changed into a brown colored logo with chocolate dripping from it. If continued further then the service of sending a box of chocolates to a girl was also available. This service was made available only if the person visited the site of Axe which required him to fill a form. This campaign was mainly used to capture the attention of the young internet users who visited the Yahoo webpage. This campaign had the capacity of reaching 3.5 million users of Yahoo. This campaign was a part of an overall communications strategy used for the Axe Dark Temptation variant. This campaign was also backed up with the TV commercials and was specially designed for the Indian consumers. This campaign again highlights the importance of internet as a medium of communication especially if the target audience is young.
AXE has a unique value proposition in the market. It enjoys the position of the market leader as well. “The AXE Effect” portrays AXE deodorants as not just a product to be used to smell good but it actually is a feeling to be experienced. AXE has campaigns that are frequently talked about and keep their consumers engaged like the “Call Me” and “Click” campaigns. AXE has always associated itself with adventure and thus attracting its primary audience. AXE is now also venturing new areas other than the urban cities in search of its secondary audience and it has received a warm welcome their too.
AXE has always targeted the young males from the age group of 16 to 30 and that is very limited looking at the macro view. Even the new products from the AXE stable like the hair gels and other creams target the same segment. Hence its promotion campaigns though loved by a large
number of people, the product caters only to a few. Even its adventurous style of advertising is gaining the brand some negative publicity, specially in a traditional country like India.
AXE can find an all new market segment to cater by introducing products for women, fairer sex being more involved in beauty related products. It can enlarge its customer base by giving products for other age groups also.
AXE faces threats from products like ‘SetWet Zatak’ which try to follow AXE in its promotion strategy. AXE also sees competition from imported products that spend less on advertising campaigns but have an increasing market share on account of ‘change’ that customer demands.
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