The highly successful Unilever brand Axe (or Lynx as it’s known in the UK) has re-branded and freshened up their image with a radical aim to “own black” when it comes to their stand out designs. And a change in strap line from “The Axe Effect” to “Find your Magic” shows a clear shift in their branding strategy.
1) New year New Look
Due to the changing landscape of the male grooming market and for Axe their previous strategy had focusing on the younger generation – it was time for change.
The well-known “Axe Effect” was seen as transformative and a clearly brilliant strategy which allowed the brand to dominate the sector it intended and remain there for several years.
However, knowing that this creative was only going to take them so far and with a targeted segment of the market, the Axe team had no choice but to shake things up, amend their strategy and rebrand their products.
See below some of the ads from the previous “The Axe Effect” campaign:
2) New positioning
The old image had out grown the market and in some instances seemed out of step with what was actually happening in the industry.
Quoted from Campaign Live where “the Axe effect” “portrayed a one-dimensional view of men, the new campaign explores a far more nuanced perspective on masculinity”.
The new “Find your Magic” aims to provide a more sophisticated, modern feel and according to Axe it’s about “allowing guys to find their own individual style and inspiration.”
3) The power of advertising
Of course as part of their brand strategy Axe have a full advertising campaign planned and we can see these hitting our screens soon. The adverts aim to provide a clear understanding that this is how simple it can be, that life doesn’t have to be as confusing as what it seems. Axe wants to portray the life of men (ok yes taking it a little bit to the extreme, as this is Axe).
It is a completely different style and approach to what the brand are used to but it is in the hope it can show how its brand has also changed in line with the modern day man and that this image of the modern day man is all about being an individual.
4) Will it work?
It will take some time for the strapline to take on the power of the original, but that’s not to say it won’t happen. Owning any space can be difficult but for Axe strengthening their brand identity will be key.
We’ve all heard of the saying “keep it simple” and Axe does this with their strategies to great effect and if they continue it will serve them well and have the positive effect they’re anticipating with the re-brand.
From a young man trying to attract women, to now showing what being a man is all about – Axe still shows their “Axe Effect” it’s now just hiding it under some very clever creative.