AXE is a consumer brand best known for its ads and products geared towards young men, but in 2012 parent company Unilever took a new direction by creating its first fragrance for both men and women, AXE Anarchy. We collaborated with Razorfish (New York) and BBH (London) in a global campaign to promote the new product line by creating a high-end, custom YouTube channel application. The concept centered on a social-media driven, user-generated graphic novel, unfolding in real time as users interacted with the story and suggested how it should develop.
The graphic novel, conceived by the expert team at Aspen Comics, gives readers the ability to browse through the story, suggest plot twists, vote to choose upcoming characters, interact with each other and much more. As technical development partner, we delivered the full digital implementation for the graphic novel, including a custom interactive reader, social-media integration, Content Management System, and scalable cloud hosting solution. We built the application using Ruby on Rails, and host it using both Heroku and Amazon EC2 servers with the ability to scale and handle millions of visitors a day.
It’s been an exciting experience delivering the technical foundation for such a groundbreaking, original, and extensive campaign. The reception has been excellent, with coverage in publications such as AdWeek, Mashable, and MTV. The trailer went viral, and is now up to over 7 million views. Even more impressive than this number is the level of dedicated participation—tens of thousands of suggestions from fans have helped shape the campaign's story. And this: Anarchy quickly became the top selling variant of AXE.
2013 Webby Awards Official Nominee
2013 Cannes Lions: Promo & Activation Shortlist
2012 One Show Award: Innovation in Branded Content Gold Pencil
2012 IAB Mixx Awards: Product Launch Gold Medal