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PROJECT REPORT

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THE AXE EFFECT- GETS YOU MORE THAN BEFORE

Submitted by

Shalini Negi

Monica Dimri

Pradeep Tripathi
CONTENTS

Company profile and product portfolio


Axe
Competitors for Axe
Axe ad agency
Axe target consumer audience
Objective for axe
Axe promotional ad campaigns
SWOT analysis
PEST analysis
5 forces model application to axe deodorant
Conclusion
COMPANY PROFILE AND PRODUCT
PORTFOLIO
HUL or Hindustan Unilever Ltd is a subsidiary of Unilever, one of the worlds
leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more
than 100 countries across the globe with annual sales of 40.5 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 Global 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 add vitality to life". The company meets every day 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.

HULs 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 HUL-

FOOD 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
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 deodorants, 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!

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 includes-

AXE 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 its 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 Indias 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 Interepublic 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 Johnsons 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

Introduce AXE Body Spray to trend-setting


18-24 year old males in select markets.

Leverage Nightlife and Promotions in a


cool, sexy, fun way to showcase brand
identity

To help men in attracting the fairer sex


better than ever.
Thinking Feeling

1 2
Informative Affective
High The Thinker The Feeler
Involvement (AXE EFFECT)

3 4
Low Habit formation Self Satisfaction
Involvement The Doer The Reactor

THE FCB GRID

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 ones 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 hes 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 Axes 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.

The execution methods used for this advertisement are: fantasy and mood or image.
Fantasy was clearly employed in Axes 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 males body, their mood would change and theyll be
spellbound to the man wearing the spray .The advertisement also touches on image
because it aims to boost a mans 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 Innerwears, 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 Adventurous


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.

Awareness Likability Action


AXE EFFECT

SOURCE, MESSAGE AND CHANNEL FACTORS FOR AXE-

SOURCE- Media vehicle, Postures, promotions, events etc.

MESSAGE- Unique fragrance AXE EFFECT- Humor and Fear Appeals

CHANNEL FACTORS- Incorporates both external and internal channels.

DESIGNING COMMUNICATION-

Key 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 OF MOUTH
PROMOTION

AXE

INTERACTIVE
EVENTS AND
MARKETING
EXPERIENCES

SALES PROMOTION- RECOMMENDED FOR AXE:


SAMPLES
PREMIUMS
CONTESTS
BONUS PACKS
PRICE OFF DEALS
EVENT MARKETING
SWOT Analysis of AXE Deodorant
STRENGTHS

High Brand Equity the AXE effect is a well known phrase amongst men

As compared to other imported Deodorants and Perfumes, AXE enjoys the strong
distribution of Hindustan Unilever in India

In India, the Marketing team doesnt have the added responsibility of making
commercials, hence can focus on other aspects.

Innovative marketing strategy for instance Call me Campaign

WEAKNESSES

Clichd advertisement concepts the target segment is composed of educated people


who are not swayed over the concept of attracting many women by using AXE

Priced on the higher side, AXE is considered as more of a luxury than an item of daily
use.

Based on the customer analysis The Axe Effect does not exist

Chauvinistic Publicity

Old designing in packaging

OPPORTUNITIES

Mens grooming industry is a large market around $2.5 billion

AXE has a strong brand identity to tap into other product lines such as Hair gel, shaving
gel, creams etc. targeted at men

AXE can look to launch smaller SKUs or products like shaving gel for mass market.

AXEs women brand LYNX, has a huge potential in India.

THREATS

Other players like Set Wet,Zatak, Wild Stone and other imported deodorants and
perfumes along with local brands.

Dilution of Brand Identity since every competitor has similar concept advertisements.

Prices are sensitive to trade policies.


PEST Analysis of AXE Deodorant
POLITICAL
Considerations:
Stability of political environment.
Government policies on trade (custom duties etc.)
Government stand on marketing ethics
Government policy on economy
Government view on culture and religion
Government involvement in any trade agreements

For AXE:

Government policy on trade.

The custom duty on imported perfume is around 27%

Government stand on advertising

The pattern for almost all deodorant advertisements is based on sexual innuendo girl
attraction to boy spraying deodorant

AXE advertisements are built on this theme. (Axe especially generally imports its ads and
doesnt do indigenous commercials). ASCI may not allow such advertisements to be aired
sometimes.

ECONOMICAL

Interest rates.
The level of inflation. (this directly affects purchase as well as profit margins as costs increase
and then companies have to decide whether to pass this cost to the consumer or suffer a drop
in margin)
General state of the economy a well to do economy is a good place to have demand
based/luxury products.

For AXE:
AXE is not a need based product but is luxury product.
When economy goes down (inflation rises) then people cut down consumption of luxury
products first.
Priced at around Rs 135 for a 150 ml bottle.
Inflation in India is around 9%
SOCIAL
Considerations:
Dominant religion.
Attitudes towards foreign products and services.
Roles of men and women within society.
Social Norms.

For AXE:
AXE is basically a deodorant the hot and humid climate of most of India makes the use of a
deodorant socially acceptable. However Axe is positioned as a product aiding courtship, or
boys being more attractive to women. The television commercials that convey this message
also sometimes tend towards the unacceptable side.
Indian Culture is fairly conservative, however since the product is targeted towards the
younger generation which is more progressive and more westernized , the product and the
message that it conveys is accepted
Male grooming is an industry booming in India, and the concept of male grooming is
becoming more and more acceptable with products like fairness creams for men no longer a
stigma.

TECHNOLOGICAL
Considerations:
Does technology allow for products and services to be made more cheaply and to a better
standard of quality?
consumers and businesses more innovative products and services such as Internet banking, new
generation mobile telephones, etc?
How is distribution changed by new technologies e.g. books via the Internet, flight tickets,
auctions, etc?
Does technology offer companies a new way to communicate with consumers?

For AXE:

One of the most relevant aspects of technology is Communication.


Internet is one of the biggest platform via which AXE communicates to the consumers.
Social network
AXE page has over 1.5 million fans on Facebook.
The AXE angels club has around 1.8 million fans
Technology (internet) is harnessed to create virtual engagement of the product with
the consumer.
FIVE FORCES MODEL APPLICATION TO AXE DEODORANT
Threat from new entrants (High)
Axe products face stiff competition from new entrants such as Zatak, Denver, Park
Avenue, Old Spice and others. The other brands have come up with strategies that
exhibit mimetic isomorphism. In the 350 crore market of Deodorant industry Axe has,
while Hindustan Unilever leads the pack with Axe (25 per cent market share), other
large players in the market place are Henkel (Fa 8.5 per cent) and CavinKare (Spinz and
Hi5, 7.4 per cent). Then there is the long tail: Paras Pharmaceuticals Set Wet Zatak,
Mankind Pharmas Addiction, TTK Healthcares Eva, Godrejs Cinthol, Reebok, Adidas,
Nivea and a host of others. You could call them the armpit warriors.

Threat of Substitutes (Low)
Deodorant industry is booming and is currently a 350 crore market.
AXE is creating value for itself as an aspirational product in the male grooming segment.
Customers have been signing up for wake up calls. Also contrary to popular opinion, not
just the urban male, but even in rural areas, there are takers for the same. Smelling
good is totally profitable. AXE has established itself as a youth icon, right from the
packaging to the substance. Substitutes like Talcum

Powders (leave residues), perfumed soaps (dries up skin and makes bathing mandatory) have low
demand.

Bargaining power of Suppliers (low)

Unilever is a very big and strong business entity, which cannot be easily influenced or forced in its
decisions by suppliers, as it is not dependent on one supplier. As stated in the case Unilever has no
problem with supply of raw materials as is able to operate in 100 markets with a variety of products
without run short of raw materials.

Bargaining power of Buyers (High)

Indian men have increasingly become conscious about their looks and how they smell, thus there is a
continuous demand from them for different fragrance they use. Therefore Axe has been coming up with
different fragrances which are differentially prices thus catering to the demands from its customers.

Competition (High)

Competition is strong in the deodorant segment, because of each brand establishing a sort of niche
market for itself. Research and development in each company, combined with changing customer
preferences are often influenced by external factors and provide a strong base for the industry.
Masculine fragrances, after all, account for 70 per cent of total deodorant sales in the country.
That explains the flurry of high-voltage campaigns by companies such as Godrej Consumer Products
(GCPL), Henkel, Nivea and Elder Pharma. The Rs 350crore male deodorant market is growing at over 50
per cent per annum.

The reason for this heady growth is that they have become aspirational products, says GCPLs Chief
Operating Officer R K Sinha. GCPL, which has roped in HrithikRoshan to endorse its male deodorant
range, has cornered over 5 per cent market share in a short period. The company is now eyeing the No 2
slot, which is currently occupied by SetWetZatak at 9.1 per cent.

There are other suitors too for that slot. Nivea Mens deodorant, which entered the market at the end of
2007, has already overtaken Park Avenue with close to 9 per cent market share. The growth prompted
two other players to enter this segment earlier this month. While Henkel launched FaMens Extreme
with film actor BipashaBasu as its brand ambassador, Elder Health Care along with VLCC launched Fuel
for Men.

The choice of Basu as Fas most visible face is best explained by VenkatesanDeenadayalan, branch head,
Mudra Chennai, the agency behind the FaMens Extreme campaign. Apart from personal
care/protection etc, young men now use deodorants to attract the opposite sex, he says. CavinKare is
also set to join hands with Paris-based $3.5 billion fragrance products maker, Coty, to establish Adidas
brand personal care products in India.

The market for male deodorants at an average price of Rs 140 per bottle is roughly 21.4 million cans per
annum. And contrary to conventional wisdom, the target audience is not just the urban male. Its
moving beyond the metros down the pop strata rapidly, says Priya Nair, category head, oral care and
deodorants, HUL, the makers of Axe.

Smelling good, it seems, has never been so profitable.


CONCLUSION

Axe has a success story that is immensely difficult to emulate.


One can only marvel and enjoy at the market strategies
adopted by HUL for making a success in a conservative society
like India. It has got everything perfect for its success; it got its
segments correct, with exemplary targeting and a positioning
strategy which has helped it maintain in dominance for the past
12 years.
The marketing strategies of AXE are very novel and unique. The
SWOT and PEST analysis of AXE gave us an insight into how AXE
created its brand value and what are the threats it faces in the
current booming male cosmetics industry. The 5 Forces model
further confirmed that the dominance of AXE as number one is
indeed threatened. Though AXE has several advantages of a
strong distribution channels of HUL, its competitors are leaving
no stones unturned. The present market of male deodorant has
a penetration rate of 2-3%, and this has attracted a dozen of
deodorants in the market, compelling AXE to introduce
innovative marketing strategies to fight off the competition.
Finally we studied the positioning strategy of AXE and in spite
of the competition HUL has no plans to reposition it in the
market. As for now AXE does not has much to fear but how the
future unfolds is yet to be seen.
REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_%28grooming_p
roduct%29
http://www.hul.co.in/brands/personalcarebrands/
Axe.aspx
http://drypen.in/case-studies/axe-deodorants-
axe-call-me-campaign-and-strategic-
communication-challenges.html
http://www.slideshare.net/anafts/plan-marketing-
axe
http://www.business-
standard.com/india/news/can-axe-retain-its-
effect/415654/
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/200
8-05-28/news/27728088_1_unilever-harish-
manwani-vindi-banga
http://marketingpractice.blogspot.com/2007/07/axe
-axe-effect.html