Staff Writer
Oct 17, 2017

How AXE used the power of mobile to boost its brand in Indonesia

Many young Indonesian men are taking more unorthodox routes to success. AXE and AdColony saw this as an opportunity to celebrate their stories, and reach a wider audience.

How AXE used the power of mobile to boost its brand in Indonesia


The AXE Effect—the most famous claim in the world whereby women find men wearing AXE deodorant intensely attractive. For over two decades, AXE has appealed to men for giving them the edge in the “seduction game”.

However, in a collective and patriarchal society like Indonesia, individualism and displaying sex appeal is often frowned upon. Instead, male attractiveness is conveyed through wealth and power, having a stable career and enough money to support a family.  

The challenge was to drive a mindset change to inspire men and celebrate individuality. AXE wanted men to realise that celebrating who they are as a person is what makes them confident and attractive.


Many young Indonesian men are starting to take the more unconventional routes to success—from founding a start-up to pursuing a career on YouTube, becoming the new icons of masculinity. AXE saw this as an opportunity to celebrate their stories.


Given that 60 percent of the YouTube audience in Indonesia is men, totalling 5 billion video views per month with movies as their top interest, AXE decided to capture eyeballs through a video series.

The 12-episode series celebrated the journeys of three Indonesian men. These key influencers were chosen not because of their popularity or their status, but instead for how they were able to overcome life’s challenges and “lerate” their career via passions they pursue.


The Indonesian target audience consumes over 93 percent of all digital media on mobile. The execution therefore had to follow a mobile-first strategy to maximise reach and effective awareness.

First, Mindshare, AXE’s media agency partner, used a dedicated mobile responsive web strategy to provide audiences with exclusive content to show their individuality and masculinity, like finding their magic with a mix of grooming and styling tips. 

Then, partnering with Spotify, for the users to identify with the icons, Mindshare curated a special playlist for each of the characters from the video series based on their respective personalities.

Creating quality content was critical to the campaign. AXE worked with Angga Dimas Sasongko — a highly-respected film director to bring to life stories of the three influencers to life in a cinematic manner, drawing the consumer into the narrative.

The strategy implemented a content targeting approach and evolved over the campaign's duration, making tweaks based on consumer responses.

Brand Lift surveys were used to give valuable feedback on what was working and what needed to be improved, so that future episodes could be optimised for better engagement and video viewership. The story evolved while positioning the consumer as an integral part of the campaign. 

Mobile targeting was used to gauge consumer appeal and target the consumers who showed interest by feeding them more content.

AdColony’s Instant Play HD video technology

Video delivery in Indonesia is a challenge and the country suffers from a 48 percent stall rate. Mindshare partnered with AdColony and implemented its zero buffer Instant Play HD video technology which not only enhanced the consumer journey, but also increased engagement for AXE. 

After the videos, an interactive quiz engaged viewers to further help them determine what kind of “AXE Man” he was, wherein users selected their favourite music, dressing style, and hangouts before scanning their thumbprint on their mobile phones to unlock the results of the quiz.

Mobile outreach fuelled a viral effect, inspiring users to tell their own story and find their magic.


AXE engaged more than 15 million Indonesians, recording a viewership of 30 million minutes in total. Average view rate exceeded all existing industry benchmarks at 24 percent, and organic views reached an impressive 20 percent.

Campaign results

Completion rates clocked in at 90.7 percent — a feat given that the videos were 6 minutes long — and performed above industry average despite poor internet speed and supporting infrastructure in Indonesia.

  • "Axelerate" topped the Youtube leaderboard charts in Indonesia with organic views of up to 20 percent
    • Total views: 16,123,116 (May - October 2016)
  • Google Brand Lift survey results — results vary by episode
    • Ad recall: up to 4.17 percent 
    • Awareness: up to 2.71 percent
    • Consideration: up to 1.45 percent
  • Brand health results (Millward Brown study)
    • Brand favorability: +10 percent
    • Purchase intent: +11 percent

Business impact

"Axelerate Find your magic” was the most successful campaign ever for the brand in Indonesia. The campaign gained AXE the market share, successfully gaining +110bps in campaign the period, with penetration gaining +100bps, and impressive sales growth of 18.2 percent.

The campaign was also a Gold award winner for Global — Cross Mobile Integration at the MMA Smarties. Held in New York on 25 September, the winner gallery can be accessed here.



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