Axe You precisely tailors campaign messaging with 40 YouTube Bumper Ads

December 2017

Unilever wanted to increase awareness of the new Axe You bodyspray and bodywash to reach a target market of 15- to 30-year-old males. The campaign launched with a classic commercial that aired on TV and in cinemas to secure quick awareness of the key messaging. But to generate engagement and talkability, the Axe You team – including media agency Mindshare – used innovative methods to develop a highly contextualised messages capable of resonating with the audience.

About Unilever

Consumer goods

Owner of more than 400 brands

Rundown Goals

Increase awareness

Reach male consumers ages 15 to 30

Rundown Approach

Analysed search queries to understand interests of target audience

Developed 40 Bumper Ads to correspond to interest areas

Used socio demographic and affinity targeting to maximise relevance

Rundown Results

Reached 87% of target audience

31.2% uplift in ad recall

4.6% uplift in brand awareness

Summed up by the hashtag #yougotsomething, the brand positioning put forth the idea that every guy is unique and has got something special about him. With such a strong message of individuality, a single one-size-fits-all ad would never deliver. With this in mind, the team included YouTube Bumper Ads with nuanced targeting as a key feature of the digital media plan.

They got started by developing a deep understanding of the key passion points of the core target by looking at what YouTube content men aged 15 to 30 were watching. They then developed 40 different Bumper Ads that corresponded to those areas of interest. The YouTube campaign setup linked socio demographic targeting with the key affinity topics that the team had identified. In this way, the content of each specific ad shown resonated precisely with the context of the viewer. 

The Axe You team also took crucial steps to ensure maximum penetration and minimum waste. “YouTube allowed us to cluster and work on qualified topics, and to share a multiplicity of messages based on each cluster – all while maintaining a strong control on the capping to avoid overkill”, observes Xavier Berenger, Business Planning Manager at Mindshare Belgium.

"YouTube was the ideal partner that allowed to echo the core message and increase its resonance. It gave us the ability to bring our messaging approach to the next level."

- Valerie Morfitis, Country Media Manager, Unilever Belgium

With Bumper Ads allowing a lower capping threshold, Xavier Berenger explains that granular implementation aimed to maximise reach. “The idea was to start the first week with a higher amount of opportunities to see (OTS) in order to land the campaign idea through a wide variety of messages adapted to each topic. We then lowered the OTS to optimise on total reach. To insure an even success for all different creatives – and not favour one above another – we created a specific campaign with dedicated budget for each creative.”

A combination of a strong preparation and follow-up from all sides ensured real success for this campaign. “YouTube allowed us on one hand to reach 87% of our audience, and on the other to limit waste to the minimum. The sales of Axe You in the market was a success and we can definitely attribute part of that to the Youtube campaign.”, Ankatrin Pessemier  Marketing Manager Personal Care at Unilever Belgium says. Alongside this, a BrandLift Study revealed tangible benefits that the campaign produced – namely, a 31.2% uplift in ad recall and a 4.6% uplift in brand awareness among the target audience.

Building a brand in an age of hyper-targeted messaging