With all the Old Spice hoopla, what’s happened to the once hot AXE?
Scorching weather in the US has put the focus on deodorants and Old Spice and Right Guard are hitting the best consumer perception numbers of the year for men 18 - 34, as AXE has experienced a recent decline according to YouGov BrandIndex data.
Over the last several years, Old Spice’s Wieden+Kennedy created ad campaigns have helped send the brand’s Buzz score to the top spot among its competitors. In July the brand doubled the hunk factor by introducing a new spokesperson, fashion model Fabio, and having him challenge the “Old Old Spice Guy”, Isaiah Mustafa, to a duel. The competition, dubbed “Mano a Mano en el Baño” proceeded in typical Old Spice fashion, with the two spokesmen answering viewer questions in a series of YouTube videos that featured the off-beat humor typical of the campaigns.
While Fabio lost the competition, “the greatest internet duel of all time” was a roaring success, scoring 22 million views on YouTube and boosting the Procter & Gamble deodorant and body wash brand to a Buzz score of 50, twice that of its nearest rival, Right Guard.
Not to be outdone, Right Guard has been on a tear of its own these past two weeks, possibly as a result of its NBA tie-in as their official deodorant. In the aftermath of its “Love In The Shower” TV spots and Facebook promotions starring “Best Smelling Player” Kevin Love touting the Total Defense 5 body wash line, Right Guard’s buzz score has taken off from indifference in mid-July to an impressive 25 the first week of August.
Lagging behind the others is Unilever’s AXE, which has been losing its mojo with young men since December. AXE slipped into negative perception territory during the middle of July, now down to -11 from 4 earlier in the month.
Old Spice, Right Guard and AXE were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"