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Axe Find Your Magic

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The Axe brand was built on culture but over the past years its relevance declined. 75% of millennials think that brands don’t respond to current events as quickly as they should – and it hadn’t done anything to prove them wrong.   


Mindshare's strategy wove agility throughout the entire Axe campaign at the speed of culture – done through its adaptive marketing process called Planning For Agility. The agency developed a first-to-market framework that allowed ALL assets, including TV, to be real-time ready -- dynamically updating within hours based on what was trending in culture.  

At the early stages of planning it identified relevant moments, events and cultural themes that would best elevate the Find Your Magic campaign, a platform which celebrated Axe guys’ individualism, evolved masculinity, and personal style. Underpinning this was an adaptive operative system that monitored culture daily through dozens of data partners and informed of which moments had the greatest cultural velocity. 

And to cement this strategy, Mindshare reimagined how publishers and brands work together in agile partnerships. It established “fluid inventory” which let it secure inventory against of a set number of unpredictable moments...whenever the moments presented itself. The agency worked with partners to create advertiser content on-the-fly. And it expedited standard trafficking from days to hours. 

Ultimately its agility efforts became a repeatable model throughout the entire year and across the globe – catapulting Axe squarely into culture and bolstering its relevance.  


Mindshare created the first ever agile television commercial where it dropped out a segment from the Global TV creative and pulled in the biggest, trending cultural moments that aligned with the Find Your Magic campaign. It quickly deployed this timely creative in the most contextually relevant environments with cross-media surround strategies. In total, the agency embedded 30 moments into the creative – below are several highlights of the segments added: 

 On National Sneaker Day it teamed up with a Bleacher Report sneakerhead influencer to show off his personal style 

• When Erik Cavanaugh went viral for being a ballerina with the body of a linebacker it worked with him to take his exact viral footage and place it in the creative 

• Throughout eSports Tournaments that featured teams Cloud 9 and Team Solomid, it updated creative to celebrate their gameplay 

• Championed Bob the Drag Queen’s individuality when she was crowned the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race (including running custom commercial on-air directly after the announcement) 

• To celebrate fandom in the NCAA Tournament it filmed 144 cuts of the television commercial featuring superfans with facepaint of their school colour. The agency adjusted segments in creative on-air and on-line based on which teams were playing (including during the Elite8 and Final 4). 

• When spokesperson John Legend appeared in culture, from award shows to lip sync battles, it featured his magic. 


• 400 million customised creative impressions against 30 executions  

 99% positive PR sentiment against RuPaul execution – previously a difficult metric to shift due to our association with “old Axe” i.e. getting the girl. This agility moment represented that guys now understood Axe was a brand that celebrated individuality and modern masculinity.  

• Social executions beat the standard industry benchmark by 5x. 

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Brand Owner:
United States
February - December 2016
Media Channel:
  • FMAs shortlisted

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