History & Marketing Strategies of Axe Brand

Company: Axe
Owned by: British Dutch Company Unilever

The AXE brand was born in France on 6th June 1983 and is now used by men in over ninety countries, from Asia to America. It is owned by the British Dutch Company Unilever and is known as Lynx in a few countries including Ireland, China, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Since its launch, it has been an epitome of individual attraction and modern masculinity. All fragrances of Axe are crafted by the leading perfumers of the world to help men feel and smell their very best.

Axe has a plethora of male grooming products including Axe deodorants, shaving cream, aftershave lotions, Cologne talc and body perfumes. Their mission is to help men break free from stereotypes and be their confident self. 

With a variety of male grooming products like deodorants, body sprays, body washes, shampoos, styling products and more, Axe aims to empower men to convey what really makes them genuine and essentially attractive to the world. Axe is a lifestyle brand to which both men and women can relate to through unique experiences.

The Beginning 

It was launched in 1983 and since then upto the year 1989, the perfume was marketed under a variety of names which was the description of the fragrances- Oriental, Marine, Spice and Musk. From 1990 to 1996, the scents used geographic names. After enjoying great success in Europe, it was introduced the United States in 2002.

Right since its inception, Axe has used unique content to lure young men and women. Unilever however had to use the name Lynx in some countries due to trademark problems. They launched deodorant sticks and antiperspirants in 2004, shower gels 2005, hair care products in the year 2009 and face care products in 2013.

In 2016, AXE came up with Find Your Magic, a point of view which motivate guys to embrace what makes them authentic, ultimately attractive and unique to the world around them. Find Your Magic was introduced along with the AXE Advanced Collection, a premium line of grooming products curated with premium benefits to help guys convey their individuality. 

The brand made its mark in India with Axe deodorants with its launch in 1999 and since then has been widely popular among young men. 

Axe Success Story 

Since its launch, Axe ads generally had men who desperately wished to get laid and who with a single spray of the perfume could seduce women. However, Axe changed that with its Find your Magic ad campaign. This ad portrayed men of all sorts of body types and personalities embracing what makes them attractive and unique. The ad was formulated to be an anthem of modern masculinity and body positivity. It’s also a colorful, inclusive and fun ad which has relatable characters. 

A large number of people seemed to really like this approach of the brand and soon enough, there was a hike in the sale. The fundamental difference between this advertisement and the previous approaches of the brand was that it made men the main subject instead the product. It explained masculinity to be more than just simply getting laid. In addition to more than ten million views on YouTube and positive comments, publications both inside as well as outside of advertising circles applauded the ad. 

Marketing Strategies and Promotion 

-From the 90’s, nearly all Axe advertisements portrayed that these fragrances help men be more confident and be appealing to the opposite sex. Consumer experts were hired to study cross cultural behavior among young men and soon the brand successfully established itself as well-liked globally. 

-After setting its foot in the American market, the brand target young men, aged between 15-25 years who had a desire to look better and boost their self-confidence. 

-Apart from designing creative advertisements, Axe also went ahead to choose rather unconventional channels to promote themselves. It began advertising on male-dominated networks including MTV, ESPN, Comedy Central and similar others. Soon, Axe went a step ahead to build brand loyalty and gorgeous women starring in their ads to attract young men. The ad presented that a single spray of the perfume could enchant young and beautiful women. 

-The advertising campaigns involved brand ambassadors for promoting the products. Several musicians, actors and film-makers were roped in to become part of Axe Collective and their work was showcased in the Toronto Film Festival. 

-The brand also made its presence felt in the social media world by getting three influencers on board, Curricé, Berry Berryuca and MegaGlowen. These were fun individuals who put a lot of effort into their content to present something that was original and high-quality. They urged their followers to take part in the contest and several videos were shot explaining the entire process.

The influencers summarized their experience on Axe’s YouTube channel where the winner was also announced at the end. The campaign had a wide reach on social networks and the brand achieved what it aimed for – interaction. It reached a total of 2.1 million people and that too in one month. 

-They conducted a research on 3500 men from ten countries around the world and found that nearly half of the men were scared of being judged and labelled. Axe therefore took it upon themselves to empower men and help them improve their personality. With this, they hoped that men would be able to live on their own terms without any pressure.

-The brand saw 12% organic reach of the campaign which truly was a huge success both on a creative level and commercially.

-Axe achieved 39.3 million digital views and 4 billion media impressions in the firstly quarter after launch of the ad which went by the title “Axe Indian Men Wanted”. 



Even in 2019, Axe still continues to meet clients aspirations. The brand launched a revolutionary perfume named ‘Axe Ticket’ which was pocket-sized and aimed to make perfumes more accessible. All Axe fragrances are especially designed by the leading perfumers in the world to help men feel and smell their very best, adding that touch of magic to their everyday life. 

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