- Unilever-owned Axe yesterday launched two giveaways of limited-edition "dogecans," a play on the cryptocurrency dogecoin, per a release emailed to Marketing Dive. While the release only specified one planned giveaway, a second followed hours later to match high demand for the merchandise.
- The cans were free and featured elements of the Doge meme — dogecoin's namesake — as part of their packaging design. The can also presents a new scent called "48H [48-hour] Crypto." To acquire a can, fans had to register through a microsite whose link was provided at the moment of launch. Both giveaways sold out within minutes.
- The effort took place on the brand's Twitter and Instagram accounts and spurred several viral posts. By incorporating memes and cryptocurrency into its merchandise, Axe is hoping to draw new communities into its fan base.
Axe's latest campaign leverages a series of cultural trends to stir interest in its brand. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency developed in 2013 as a satirical take on other cryptocurrencies, but has since become a de facto investment system in large part due to its public support by Elon Musk. Axe's "dogecan" is a play on the volatile currency and features the eponymous "Doge" meme as part of the spray can's design. Last month, Corona launched its own spin on crypto with a sweepstakes for "Triptocurrency."
Axe also taps space travel as an area of interest to fuel its campaign. Previously, on Doge Day (April 20), the brand implied through a tweet that if dogecoin reached a value of $1, it would send a "dogecan" to the moon. While the currency's value did not reach the goal, Axe's tweet went viral with 21,000 likes, and the brand retained the theme in its "dogecan" packaging design and social push.
Perhaps hoping to repeat the virality of its Doge Day tweet, Axe mainly relied on Twitter and Instagram to build excitement for the giveaways. With hashtags including #dogecan and #dogearmy, the brand managed to accumulate thousands of likes and tweets discussing the campaign. Because much of the dogecoin community organizes on social media sites like Reddit, activating Twitter and Instagram could afford Axe easier access to reach those consumers.
The "dogecan" itself is a piece of quirky merchandise that gives consumers a way to express their affinity for Axe products. Other brands have launched similar campaigns as the pre-pandemic strategy returns to marketing efforts. The giveaway also utilized a microsite that required entrants to sign up using email and physical addresses, which are useful first-party data points that Axe could use to create more targeted campaigns.
"Dogecan" is a departure from recent, more purpose-driven efforts Axe has taken to rectify criticisms of its brand. Axe launched in May the "New Axe Effect" which targeted open-minded Gen Z males in an about-face from previous campaigns that have been accused of toxic masculinity. The brand later sought to use its platform to convince COVID vaccine-hesitant consumers to get inoculated, although the campaign did see a slight return of Axe's macho messaging.