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Unilever places mobile and social at heart of Axe campaign

Consumer packaged goods giant Unilever is using mobile to engage its young male demographic and encourage viral spread of its Axe Twist fragrance product via social networks.

The Axe Twist Roulette game is a branded application for Apple?s iPhone and iPod touch. Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Plastic Mobile collaborated on the creation of the app and its integration into the multichannel Axe Twist campaign.

?The Axe Twist Roulette Game is branded entertainment in the social gaming arena,? said Melody Adhami, cofounder and chief operating officer of Plastic Mobile, Toronto.

?Axe Twist was a new product launch Unilever was just releasing, and its goals were to launch the product for the right demographic?young males?based on where they are what they are doing in their social life,? she said.

?This game fits well, whether it is a party or a bar or another social setting.? 

Twisted mobile game
The tagline for the Axe Twist campaign is ?the fragrance that changes.?

The brand messaging is designed to appeal to young males:

?Girls get bored easily. Axe Twist is a fragrance that changes to keep her interested. Experience a fragrance that begins with a fresh burst then evolves into a smooth, sexy scent.?

The Axe Twist Roulette game is based on party games such as Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle. The application was designed to be a mobile-social game.

The application issues challenges to party-goers, each of whom must complete a task or dare before passing the mobile device onto the next participant.

Users can take pictures and upload them to Facebook or email them to friends.

?The app takes advantage of where the users are, which is one of the aspects of mobile that the game leverages,? Ms. Adhami said. ?The mobile game is integrated into their overall marketing campaign.?

The Axe Twist campaign also includes a microsite for the product, digital banner advertising featuring the product and mobile ads with a click-to-download-the-app call-to-action.

?Any digital channel the brand was marketing through, it featured the app?online, social and mobile,? Ms. Adhami. ?Axe realizes the importance of having a mobile element.

?The application has a long shelf-life beyond the initial product launch campaign that lasts a couple of months,? she said. ?It provides brand awareness and equity and the momentum keeps building as more and more people download the app, which was an important factor in the brand?s eyes.?

Ms. Adhami said that mobile was the only medium where all of the target users were regularly consuming content.

?Moving outside of traditional channels was important for Axe,? Ms. Adhami said. ?Consumers see a PC ad on the screen then it goes away, whereas mobile devices are with users wherever they go, which was a key element to making the mobile game a success.

?The time spent on the application has been pretty high?that?s the level of engagement the brand weas looking for,? she said.

Final Take
Chelsea Peretti at the Axe Twisted Humor Tour

Whitney Cummings at the Axe Twisted Humor Tour