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Launching a new product where young guys live. Tumblr.

For years AXE has given guys the edge in the mating game by helping them look, feel and smell really, really good. But in 2013, AXE set out on a new mission to help guys score – this time with their faces.

AXE came to us to help launch their men’s AXE Face range for a demographic that typically doesn’t differentiate between face and body care. Our challenge was to let guys in on the importance of face care while sticking close to the brand story that made AXE famous: the mating game.

To show guys their faces count more in the mating game than they realize, we developed FACESCORE – a gamified face-scoring platform to deliver product information in a way that was truly interesting to guys. The project included a Tumblr-based microsite, branded display ads and social content within existing AXE channels.

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Getting guys to care

While many guys don’t think about how they care for their own faces, women certainly do. And guys care about what women think. So we created a ranking system that tracked in real time the success of a guy’s face. Girls and guys could affect the score with a simple click of a button. A custom-built content moderation tool scraped Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr for photo submissions through hashtag #FACESCORE.

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Developing the tone

This was brand new territory for AXE, which is popularly known for body spray and with no surprise; the $2.5 billion brand claims a 78% share of the category. The idea tied to the AXE Effect in a way that is Internet-culture friendly, funny but not arrogant, “ironically douchey”. To achieve this we played off existing behavior to create content that mirrors what is popular online.

Tumblr as a campaign platform

FACESCORE leveraged Tumblr as a content management system. In doing so we were able to push the boundaries of a platform that is usually held for passive content consumption and quick mixed-media blogging, into a fully customized campaign platform.

Help guys to find product info

To help familiarize guys with the type of product they needed we created a configurator. Guys would identify their main face concern – whether they needed to smooth their faces or wake them up, and product recommendations would auto populate.

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Play to win

In only three months, 612,506 people interacted with FACESCORE on Tumblr. Guys who submitted their faces received phenomenal feedback and were among a pool that garnered over 90,000 votes. The average voter voted 5.3 times. FACESCORE was mentioned more than 288,000 times collectively across all social networks.

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Playing the game anywhere

A number of touchpoints allowed guys to play FACESCORE. Display advertising featured in-banner voting functionality so guys could cast votes on the smoothness of two opponents. A second banner featured the running-man advergame so guys could go on the AXE Face adventure without leaving the site they were on. FACESCORE even appeared at a Spring Break photo booth.

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