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Unilever's Axe uses mobile in multichannel campaign for new body spray

Unilever's Axe used mobile as part of a large multichannel effort to spread the word about the newest product in its line of body-sprays, Axe Dark Temptation.

Axe's overall goals were to increase product awareness, track interactive responses, build a mobile database of brand enthusiasts and engage consumers in a creative way. Unilever's agencies Isaacson and Brightline iTV tapped Ping Mobile to power the text-to-win sweepstakes.

"The strategy for Axe's campaign was to introduce a new product while reaching out to their target demographic via a unique and original medium," said Shira Simmonds, president of Ping Mobile, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Ping created six different keywords, AXE1 through AXE6, and inserted them into the different advertising channels that were being promoted nationally.

The keywords were strategically attached to movie preview commercials, Video-On-Demand programming and Dish Network spots that promoted the Axe Dark Temptation Sweet Life Sweepstakes -- a drawing where consumers could win thousands of dollars in prizes and cash.

Consumers could text any of the six keywords to short code 74642.

People that texted in received a message back that read, "Congrats! URentered2Win The Sweet Life! Want 50 more chances 2Win? Buy AXE Dark Temptation @stores near U & visit No Purchase Necessary."

Next came the double opt-in to get the consumers' permission to add them to the database.

That message read, "Thx4UR entry! Visit 4prize info! Reply YES 2get more Xclusive AXE offers! Std txt rts apply. Max4msgs/mo. 2Unsub txt STOP. Reply Yes Now!"

The last message was the double opt-in, confirming the subscription. It read, "U R subscribed 2 Axe Xclusive offers! Want to earn 50 more chances to win The Sweet Life? Buy AXE Dark Temptation @ a store near U! 2 Unsub txt STOP."

Mobile was suitable for this client because Axe's target demographic -- males 18-35 -- is extremely receptive to mobile marketing based on trends of mobile usage.

"Axe's image is sexy and cool and mobile definitely provides that extra element of coolness," Ms. Simmonds said.

This campaign proved to be successful, generating thousands of text sweepstakes entries and building a significant double-opted-in mobile database at a rate of 20 percent.

"The challenge for Axe was finding a way of introducing such an original product - Dark-Chocolate-scented body sprays for men - in a manner with equal originality, and one that would appeal to their target demographic," Ms. Simmonds said.