For years, AXE was losing relevancy and penetration with its core target audience: Gen-Z males. In 2020, AXE was releasing a new product line, AXE Wild, and Edelman was tasked with building awareness and attraction amongst AXE’s core audience—Gen-Z males—and develop engaging content that could be amplified at scale.
We knew that AXE’s target audience’s primary passion is gaming—more specifically, Fortnite, a battle royale-style of gaming—and one of their most favorite forms of entertainment is watching their favorite streamers play Fortnite live on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. So, we wanted to lean into this gaming passion and grab our audience’s attention on these platforms in a surprising, but delightful way.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
Knowing that top gamers are driven by mastery in their skill, we wanted AXE to introduce a new challenge that only AXE could prepare them for: the real world. We challenged 13 of Canada’s top gamers and content creators to step away from their keyboards and monitors and into a real-life battle royale that would be live streamed on Twitch—something that had never been attempted before.
We titled it AXE Project Wild and developed a series of creative assets to get the word out amongst our target audience. Our 13 gamers helped not only by sharing our assets to build hype and anticipation for AXE Project Wild, but they also drove tens of thousands of consumers to AXEProjectWild.ca to learn more about the activation (including the teams, battlefield maps, game rules and gear). We also leveraged a landing page to drive sign-ups for more AXE-related news, a rollout of AXE Project Wild specific branded emails and other key updates that were shared regularly with our target audience.
On the day of the battle, users logged in to AXE Canada’s Twitch channel to watch AXE Project Wild’s three live battles to see who would be the last gamer standing. The audience members were also able to interact with each other and the gamers, using the platform’s chat function, to help shape each battle as they unfolded in real life. Following the battle, we also created highlight clips, post-event reactions and recap videos that were shared across AXE’s and our gamers’ social channels.
In just a few weeks, the campaign surpassed target benchmarks and generated 58,000+ total live Twitch stream viewers; 200+ pieces of owned & influencer content; hundreds of thousands of unique video views of influencer and owned content; 13,500+ total visits to AXEProjectWild.ca and a 33 percent email open rate (industry benchmark: 17 percent).