AXE: Giving New Meaning to a “Product Launch” With Apollo

To promote the new line of Apollo products, AXE planned to send 22 of its fans to space and challenged Edelman to create one of the most talked about campaigns of 2013 around this news. The goal was to develop a program even bigger than the 2012 launch of the first female AXE fragrance Anarchy by hitting one billion media impressions.

The firm answered the call by creating the biggest marketing campaign in AXE’s 30-year history. The program is set to send the fans to space via the AXE Apollo Space Academy in 2014.

So what did it take to come up with an idea that was, quite literally, out of this world? Edelman called on offices around the globe to participate in a competitive “shoot out.” This way, AXE was exposed to the best creativity from across Edelman’s network.

AXE ApolloUltimately, the client selected Edelman’s AXE Apollo Space Academy (AASA) idea to center its marketing platform. The firm’s New York office then developed the idea into a full-scale PR campaign to be implemented in 60 markets in 45 languages. To align tone, messaging and PR executions internationally, Edelman created a global PR and digital toolkit – something that has never been done before for AXE markets. The toolkit included the materials necessary to launch Apollo in each market, including a press release, issues document, Q&A, spokesperson guidelines, key messages, a fact sheet and media alert.

To kick off early media interest, the firm executed the annual AXE long lead event, and for the first time included international participants. The event took place in Iceland, home to the Apollo 11 training missions, and hosted contacts from 16 outlets representing the U.S., the UK, Brazil and Russia.

For the official release, the team held the largest product launch event in AXE history at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, attracting 112 media attendees from 67 outlets in the U.S. and 19 countries globally. To highlight the significance of AXE’s mission, campaign spokesperson and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin made an appearance at the event.

In less than one month, and before the debut of AXE’s first-ever Super Bowl ad, the launch had stirred up a media storm, with coverage including The New York, USA Today and The Associated PressTo keep the news cycle running, astronaut brand ambassadors made appearances on the streets of New York City, in New Orleans during the Super Bowl, the Nascar Kobalt race in Las Vegas, the MTV Movie Awards and the 139th Kentucky Derby.

To date, the program has shattered benchmarks with more than 2.8 billion media impressions and the number continues to grow. Voting on ended on April 27, 2013 and winners will be contacted with their invites to take place in the global space camp competition in December 2013.

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