Axe: MTV VJ Jose kidnapped for Axe Shower Gel launch in India

Priya Chanda
Mindshare India

Campaign details

Brand owner: Hindustan Unilever India
Agency: Mindshare India
Brand: Axe Shower Gel
Country: India
Industry: Toiletries and cosmetics market
Media budget (USD): Up to $500k
Channels used: Branded content, Cinema, Internet - display, Internet - general, Internet - microsites, widgets, Internet - search, Mobile and apps, Newspapers, Online video, Radio, Social media, Television, Word of mouth and viral

Executive summary

Axe, the leading deodorant brand owned by Unilever, the household goods group, had been sold in India for more than a decade, and wanted to extend its Indian portfolio by launching Axe Shower Gel.

Typically, brands in the Indian toilet soaps and liquids category spent up to 80% of their media budgets on television spots. In 2012, however, Axe used a series of 10 short films and a variety of digital media to tell the tongue in cheek story of a high profile kidnap in which the kidnappers demanded the launch of the shower gel. The storyline of the kidnap also featured episodes in which characters demonstrated the product – since shower gels were relatively new to many Indian men. This case study cites, among other pieces of evidence of its success, an above target market share achieved by the brand following this campaign.

Campaign background