Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2012 10:01 AM
At the top of the new year, Unilever’s Axe body spray and grooming product line (known as Lynx beyond the U.S.) announced a plan to create an interactive graphic novel (the grown up version of a comic book), crowdsourced via its social marketing channels. That project is now live on its YouTube channel, where you can see the storyline evolve, and on Facebook, where fans can participate in shaping the storyline.
The objective is to expand its target audience beyond just men because the brand is introducing Anarchy, a new fragrance that has a version for men and another for women. Axe already dominates the men’s body spray market with a 74 percent share in the U.S., according to market-search firm SymphonyIRI Group, the New York Times reports.
Axe has 2.3 million “likes” on Facebook and the company’s senior brand manager, says that about a quarter of them are from women, the Times notes. “We’ve been hearing for some time that females have been asking for and looking for their very own scent of Axe,” said Roberts. That kind of double targeting can cause, yes, anarchy for a marketer.
So the way the brand is handling it is to create commercials that showcase men and women falling for one another amidst total chaos along with the digital innovation now underway via its choose-your-own-ending, online graphic novel. Every few days, new chapters will be put up online “with plot turns based partly on consumers’ suggestions and votes, and with some fans being depicted in the comic,” the paper reports.
The graphic novel is being written by former DC Comics scribe Scott Lobdell and created by digital agency Razorfish along with Aspen Comics, and follows the adventures of the Anarchy Girls. It will be a limited edition for the women’s version of Axe with future sales being based on how things go the first time around.