Axe to launch first Canadian “for her” product

Unilever hoping women will buy in to sex-driven brand

Jeromy Lloyd February 07, 2012

Unilever hoping women will buy in to sex-driven brand

Unilever is set to launch its first Axe product for women in Canada, though the company is keeping its marketing plans close to its chest.

In addition to the women’s body spray, the Axe Anarchy line includes men’s body spray, deodorant and shower products. While the men’s products come in Axe’s traditional black packaging and have an “oriental-inspired fragrance that boasts fresh fruit notes, alongside sandalwood and white amber,” Anarchy For Her will come in white packaging and smell of “sparkling fruity notes, soft florals and a light finish of sandalwood, amber and vanilla.”

Kyle Marancos, senior brand building manager of Axe, said the women’s product was developed in response to demand from the brand’s female fans.

Marancos describes Anarchy For Her as a “limited edition” fragrance. Given the multiple products in the male Anarchy line compared to the single female product, Anarchy For Her seems more of an experiment for Unilever to see if it can translate the typically oversexed male brand into something women will regularly buy. Marancos would not expand on the product’s overall market strategy.

A quick scan of Axe Canada’s Facebook page shows a number of women are asking for women-only Axe products and samples of the new body spray. The Facebook page also shows that some Anarchy samples have made their way to consumers, though the product has no official launch date – much like its Canadian marketing campaign.

However, given the nature of the global marketing materials that have surfaced, Valentine’s Day seems a likely kick-off date. Marancos said the campaign will utilize global creative assets created by the army of agencies that steer the brand globally. Bartle Bogle Hegarty handled the main brand work for Anarchy, including a one-minute video showing men and women irresistibly drawn to each other in the middle of an increasingly chaotic scene.

The brand insight? “Men and women are driven by attraction, and Axe provides the spark they need to act on that attraction,” according to Marancos.

The Canadian campaign will include television, cinema and digital media (including a gaming element). Canadian agencies working on the launch include Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which oversees digital and consumer sampling for Axe, PR firm Harbinger and media agency Mindshare.

Axe has also just launched a two-in-one shower gel called Axe Jet and a hair styling line called Axe Hold + Touch. Both male-focused products have shipped and begun to appear on store shelves.