In 2019, AXE was bringing a new range of men’s grooming products to the market in South Africa: AXE Gold. The new AXE Gold range included a body wash, AP deodorant spray, body spray and a roll-on AP.

The new AXE Gold Range provided guys with a new scent and 48- hour wetness and odour protection while still delivering on what AXE is best known for - giving guys the confidence to be their most attractive selves so they can find their magic.

AXE aimed to launch the new product range in a way that connected with the Gen Z audiences. After internal research AXE identified and tapped South African rapper, Nasty C, to help launch the new range of products. Through a new TVC and social content, Nasty C helped launch the new product range in January 2019. However, due to budget constraints the brand didn’t have funds
to pay additional influencers to support the new range and drive home the grooming credentials, as the brand had done in past years. However, they needed to create buzz around the new products on social media, and they wanted to get Gen Z influencers talking about the new range.

Edelman was tasked with identifying how to create additional buzz around the product launch with South African influencers on a very tight budget.



Edelman put forward a fresh idea that hadn’t been previously implemented within the Unilever portfolio - engage and work with influencers simply by providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences and product trade exchanges - instead of a paid contract.

Edelman began by identifying influencers that aligned to the various AXE passion points: music, gaming and style. Ensuring the roster of influencers was diverse and would align to the various interests of the AXE guy. The selected influencers would post authentic grooming moments they encounter throughout the day - linked to their passion points.

Working with Unilever PDC (People Data Centre) - Unilever’s internal research division - the influencers selected were vetted to ensure they align to the brand and target audience. Once vetted, the top 15 influencers were confirmed, and Edelman reached out to confirm participation.

To ensure the influencers would be engaged, Edelman created a calendar of activity for the launch that would get the influencers excited about the brand and ensure they posted on behalf of the brand consistently - knowing as a brand we couldn’t hold them accountable for not posting, as we were not financially compensating them.



As soon as the Advocate program kicked off, the excitement from the advocates was evident. The mailer helped guys kick off with content that outlined their daily grooming routines with AXE alongside custom content talking about how they FIND THEIR MAGIC.

The Nasty C event was a huge success. Johannesburg based advocates joined Nasty C for a lunch in Braamfontein followed by an intimate graffiti experience where the advocates got to work alongside Nasty C to create a custom AXE mural.

Throughout the six-month period, the advocates continued to share their experiences with AXE through grooming content and posts focused on how they find their magic - encouraging others to do the same.