NEW YORK In accordance with a media strategy that has remained unapologetically absurdist since Unilever launched the brand in 2002, the new Axe "Let the game continue" creative hews to the Axe Universe, which is to say that the product -- in this case, Axe Shock body wash -- instantly sends any proximate female into the throes of estrus.
Only this time around, thanks to the interactive platform developed by Verizon for its FiOS TV service, the young males who are being targeted can control, well, the action.
Beginning this week, FiOS TV subscribers in New York and Philadelphia will be directed to the long-form of the Axe Shock creative by way of spots running on the company's interactive program guide. After the viewer uses his remote to click on an on-screen bug, the eight-minute narrative opens with the aftermath of a fiery car wreck and a vaguely Belgian-looking hero making a new friend in the horny lady ice-cream-truck driver.
The amount of brand exposure (and simulated sex) increases proportionally with the duration of the FiOS sub's commitment to the commercial. The trigger spots will run on MTV, Comedy Central and Spike TV.
An early test of the spot, developed for Unilever by BrightLine iTV, in FiOS' Buffalo, N.Y., footprint suggests that the Axe Shock ad is pretty sticky. According to FiOS, the average viewer stayed locked in for six of the eight minutes.