Social Media Strategy Review: Axe

axe social media

This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360 degree analysis of a brand’s entire social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.

Axe had sexed the deodorant category in India, and it changed the way the category promotes itself. Now it is no longer about smelling good and feeling fresh, it is about attracting opposite sex, and as culture would have it,  is almost always men looking for ways to pull women effortlessly. Anthropologists and cultural critics would have some serious objection with the premise, and rightly so, but what the heck, if fans do not care, like everything else.

But it’s not that they are completely disenchanted with everything. They are very much interested in stylizing them and looking hot or cool (depending on how you see it), which the studied brand hopes to capitalize on, and for which it went to the place where the group hangs out the most: social media. In this article, I will analyze the social media activity of Axe on various social platforms. Let’s start the review with analyzing its audience profile.

Audience Analysis of Axe

As expected, a significantly large number of Axe Angel Club members are men (78.51%), and contrary to what you want to believe, people in 31-40 age group (35.8%) follow the deodorant brand most in social media, followed by group consisting of 40+ people (see the image below). This is kind of audience profile you do not expect from a brand which is so young, but then there is some difference between a chronological age and the age one feels.

Audience Analysis Of Axe Angel Club
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool
Age Group Using Axe
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

And it is such a relief to see that people do not only follow the brand in social media, they talk quite positive about it, as shown in the following two images.

Positive & Negative aspects of Axe
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool
Axe audience Sentiments
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Overall Strategy

Axe has a very strong positioning, the highest-in –the-category brand recall, and a communication potential which is almost is so extensible that it borders on limitlessness. The challenge for a brand with so many strong attributes is not to think of what to do on social media, but to think of how to use the platform to maintain the brand positioning it has. To that end all the social media activities of Axe is directed.

The brand uses social media to continue the story line it created in the mass media, and from what we saw above it appeared it has succeeded big time in doing so, but did it really succeeded in creating what customer sentiment suggests? That is the answer we’ll find in the paragraphs below.

Axe on Facebook

There is a strong community of Axe on Face book. Axe Angels Club, as the brand has named its online gang, has more than 40 lac fans. Following the lead of television commercials, the content pieces on Axe’s Facebook page has continued to excite its fans. An example of which can be seen in the following image which has caused some serious engagement.

And it is not just the created content that has caused its fans to like the posts. Axe has properly curated content pieces, added a witty turn to it, and shared it on Facebook, as you can see below. This has affected the engagement, as you can see in the second image shared below.

Axe Facebook Post

Axe Angel Club Engagement
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

The brand is clear about it positioning and the message it wants to convey, and like on television and print, on Facebook as well it has succeeded in creating an engagement that can be source of envy for other brands.

Even the nature of posts is different. Not all of them are text heavy. There are posts which convey volume even with very little text. It has also placed the brand midst the recent happenings. The image below is an example which capitalizes on the theme of space-thriller movie Gravity.

Axe Facebook Post

Axe on Twitter

In what I saw on Twitter, Axe does not seem to be very serious about this medium. At least the frequency of posts suggests so. For example, on Oct 04, 2013 the brand relayed 10 tweets, but then there was a gap of 7 days before it sent out another tweet (see the image below), but this was not the sole example of this kind of activity. Twitter participation was not regular even earlier (see the second image).

Although the brand has 3000+ followers, there is no real engagement or activity here. Even a exciting tweet like the following didn’t cause so much stir to be called a ripple.

Axe Elsewhere

The journey of creating engaging content that Axe Angels Club begun on Facebook and Twitter has continued to excite its audience on Google+ and YouTube. Here as well, the brand has created some engaging content that fills its audience with excitement.

Although the engagement level on Google+ is not as high as that on other medium, despite the quality of content, but then it has more to do with the platform than the brand. The platform is not strong enough, and not many Indian citizens frequent Google+.

Axe Angel Club on Google+

On YouTube, apart from sharing its ads, which itself has a lot viral potential, the brand has created some animated videos that are completely in line with Axe’s positioning. The videos, though grotesque, at times, didn’t fail to excite audience. Here also the brand has shown its creative genius, like the Mario-themed video it shared which got more than 7.50 lac views.

 

Comparison with competitor

Wild Stone is a very close competitor of Axe, but it is not close enough. It is a distant second in terms of engagement, but it has its own army of followers who wants to play dirty. Although the engagement level of Wild Stone is low (see the first image below), the quality of engagement and sentiment shared is much stronger than that on Axe’s page. As you can see in the second and the third image Wild Stone’s fans not only express more positive emotion on social media page of the brand, but they also engage with the page at a deeper level.

Comparision between Axe & Wild Stone
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool
Comparison between Axe & Wild Stone
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool
Comparison between Axe & Wild Stone
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

This also reflects in the number comments and shares posts on Wild Stone’s FB page gets. But then Wild Stone tries many different things, which is almost missing from Axe’s page. Despite that, average per-post engagement of Axe is a higher than that of its competitor.

Fan Engagement comparison for Axe & Wild Stone
Source: Simplify360 – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Conclusion 

Axe has done a wonderful job of extending the brand’s message to social media and made it fit the medium, and the success of its effort can be seen in the number of fans it has and the way they are engaged with the brand. Only thing I found missing in Axe Angels Club is variety. The team should add some variety in the content they share.

EXPERT VIEW:

In social media its easier for brands like Axe to be irreverent and focus on attraction as a peg for content. What axe does well is not only leverage the content but also be highly responsive and engaging around it. Also the focus on original content shows the brands commitment to the social medium.

What one definitely wants to see is more real time quirky use of the medium in different ways than just going after the attraction peg all the time. Sometimes the brands content look does monotonous and unimaginative.

Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Digital & Social Media Agency.

Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360

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