Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has come up with a thematic campaign to promote the new range for its deo brand Axe, called The Axe Apollo. The communication plan for this range includes an online campaign, ‘Axe Apollo Space Academy’, wherein the brand promises to give winners a chance to go to space in a private spaceship.
To further augment the brand communication an outdoor campaign has been rolled out in association with Arena, the OOH agency for Unilever in India. A king size installation of an Axe bottle is placed next to a model of a giant astronaut at three prime locations in Mumbai – Juhu Haveli near Juhu Chowpatty, Mahim Causeway and Bandra Carter Road. For each location, the duration of display will be for 10 days. The brand has also initiated an innovative retail branding campaign.
The Axe Apollo campaign is a larger-than-life campaign, where the brand will select winners of a contest and send them to space. To publicise the contest, the brand needed media support which was equally larger than life and disruptive. Hence, the brief was to create a larger-than-life astronaut, which would create the necessary buzz in the consumer’s mind.
The challenge was to install the Axe can next to the astronaut on the mobile van due to space constraints. The hydraulic pole of the mobile van was converted into the Axe can. This, in turn, ensured more space for the astronaut, thereby giving the entire unit stability.
The Axe Apollo Space Academy is an international campaign that will have winners from 20 countries, including India, who will embark on a once in a lifetime opportunity of travelling to outer space.
When HUL launched Axe in India in 1997, the deodorant category was virtually non-existent in the country. Since then, the category has grown to be worth Rs 1,300 crore and Axe dominates it with a 14 per cent market share as per various media reports. First mover advantage and HUL’s formidable distribution strength have contributed to that growth, supported to a large extent by Axe’s extremely titillating commercials.