Axe is putting a Canadian spin on the brand’s new global campaign in a TV spot debuting during the NBA All-Star Weekend on Feb. 12.
With the global “Find Your Magic” campaign, created by 72andSunny Amsterdam, the Unilever-owned men’s grooming brand is pushing a message of self-confidence and individuality.
A 60-second TV spot opens with a voiceover asking, “Come on, a six pack? Who needs a six pack when you’ve got the nose?” followed by a shot of a beak-nosed guy laughing in a parked car with a girl. “Or a nose when you got the suit,” the voiceover continues.
The spot goes on to show men of all stripes, including a man in a wheelchair on the dance floor at his wedding, a male dancer performing in high heels, and a guy with a bushy beard playing with kittens.
The 30-second Canadian version, developed by 3Bird, incorporates a shot of a basketball hoop going up in flames and a guy in a Toronto Raptors jacket hitting the street court. The voiceover says, “who needs a suit when you’ve got the fire, or fire when you’ve got the north,” a nod to the Toronto Raptors’ “We The North” campaign.
“We’ve been partnered with MLSE [Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment] since 2014 and as we talked about what we can do to launch the spot in a unique way, we saw an opportunity to add some unique Canadian content within the Find Your Magic film,” said Jess Grigoriou, marketing director – hair care and deodorants, at Unilever Canada.
“The ‘We The North’ campaign really became a movement that inspired Canadians to celebrate their individuality within the sport. Knowing that Find Your Magic expresses that same sentiment of self-confidence and individuality, we saw an incredible synergy to bring those two messages together in a special adaptation of the film.”
As the part of the Canadian launch, Axe becomes the first brand in Canada to make use of Instagram’s new 60-second video format, which it’s using to launch its French language Find Your Magic film to the Francophone market. Axe is also running the 30-second English spot on Instagram.
“We saw Instagram as a great place for self-expression and individuality,” said Grigoriou. “It’s a place where guys can express who they are, so the platform really lends itself nicely to our message, but it’s also just a great way to connect with our [audience].”
Over the past couple of years, Axe has moved away its focus on stereotypical masculinity and depictions of the brand as a chick magnet. In Canada, for example, a campaign that launched last summer profiled Canadian men who abandoned their careers to pursue their dreams.
“Axe has a new point of view on masculinity,” said Grigoriou. “[The new campaign] is a rallying cry to inspire guys to embrace that thing that makes them unique and attractive to the world around them. So whether that be your walk, your talk, your smile, or your style, it’s really what makes you you. And that’s what we want to celebrate.”
Mindshare is handling media planning and buying and Edelman is handling PR.