Axe Promo, Case study AXE LOUNGE by Edelman New York

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Industry Deodorants
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Edelman New York
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Advertiser: UNILEVER
PR Communications Manager: Heather Mitchell (Unilever)
Brand Building Manager: Hazel Nussbaum (Unilever)
Assitant Brand Manager: Amber Rieg (Unilever)
Vice President: Matthew Kohan (Edelman Public Relations)
Senior Account Supervisor: Jake Basden (Edelman Public Relations)
Media placement: Press Release - 214 Placements Including: AOL Daily Finance And Dallas Business Journal - 1 February 2011
Media placement: Media Placements - 320 Placements Including: Associated Press, OK! Magazine, US Weekly, NY Post, NY - 3 February 2011
Media placement: VEVO - VEVO/Youtube - 24 February 2011

Summary of the Campaign
AXE catapulted to success as a hip, current brand when it launched in 2002, but by 2009 it was losing its lustre. That year, AXE set out to regain its grip as an aspirational lifestyle brand for 18-24 year-old guys so it developed a unique and immersive brand experience: AXE Lounge, an exclusive destination attended by celebrities, musical artists, influencers, guys and girls. Through use of traditional and social media the brand brought the AXE Lounge experience to life for the masses. Coming off the success of AXE Lounge in 2010, the brand decided to go bigger in 2011 with 3 nights at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. Featuring performances by Grammy award winner Cee Lo Green, Pitbull and Diplo, a bevy of celebrities and athletes in attendance, and real-time content amplified on Facebook and Twitter, AXE Lounge set a new benchmark for lifestyle marketing. AXE Lounge generated 156MM earned media impressions in one week with video performances featuring Pitbull and Cee Lo Green reaching 4MM views in three weeks and counting.

The Situation
The challenge was to help AXE reinforce its position as a relevant brand for 18-24 year-old guys. Applying its public engagement principles, Edelman created a unique, immersive and engaging brand experience: AXE Lounge. An exclusive club hosted by celebrities, musical performers and influencers, AXE Lounge went to where research showed most young guys want to be: the Super Bowl. By creating a landmark event to engage guys and girls at the game and millions more following on social media, AXE set out to change the consumer’s perception.

The Goal
AXE Lounge needed to stand out among the throng of celebrity-studded parties in Dallas during Super Bowl weekend. Through the use of non-traditional and social media, AXE was able to create the ultimate public engagement experience, allow millions VIP access to the exclusive club and increase brand equity and consideration among the target audience.

The Strategy
Audience analysis using Communispace, Unilever’s research and insights panel composed of 18-24 year-old men, revealed that the Super Bowl was not only one of the most watched events; it was also the most sought-after. Creating the ultimate Super Bowl experience and amplifying it to the masses had huge potential to make an impact and help regain the brand’s relevance among consumers. Targeted media relations before, during and immediately after Super Bowl weekend amplified and sustained buzz around AXE. Coupled with compelling content that would generate earned media coverage (traditional and social), and be used in paid and owned media properties, and through partnerships with a premiere venue, the hottest musical talent, and media channels, AXE set out to elevate the brand’s status.

Coming off the success of AXE Lounge in 2010, the brand decided to go even bigger in 2011, and acquired exclusive branding rights to a Dallas club for the duration of the weekend. AXE Lounge capitalized on Super Bowl’s ability to organically attract celebrities, and for 3 nights, the club hosted a bevy of celebrities, athletes and influencers; with performances by Grammy winner Cee Lo Green, Pitbull and Jermaine Dupri. AXE partnered with, a Universal Music Group/YouTube joint venture to produce branded videos for distribution on multiple online channels, and DanwithAXE, the brand’s social media "voice", amplified content on Facebook and Twitter, targeted online media and influencers, and engaged fans. Combined with outreach to sports, entertainment, lifestyle, and news media, AXE Lounge secured continual coverage and exceeded benchmarks.

Documented Results
In 2011, AXE Lounge became one of the hottest Super Bowl events to hit Dallas. Hosting over 25 celebrities, professional athletes and influencers, the event generated 156MM earned media impressions in top tier outlets such as Associated Press, OK! Magazine, US Weekly, New York Post,,, E! News and more. Additionally, branded Cee Lo and Pitbull video content generated 4MM views in 3 weeks on Vevo/YouTube. The online engagement with fans on Facebook and Twitter during Super Bowl weekend resulted in more than 10MM digital impressions and 4.9 MM Twitter impressions. AXE Lounge is recognized by Unilever globally as best-in-class and a new direction for AXE lifestyle marketing.