emily day / brand strategist

AXE | The Replacement Hoodie


The Martin Agency tasked us with creating an activation for their client, AXE, that built upon The AXE Effect as a platform, where smelling irresistible unleashes fantastical attraction. Over the course of a 4-day sprint, in-depth interviews and social listening led us to an ownable, and audience-specific, cultural phenomenon.


Get Gen Z guys excited to make AXE purchases in-store

This idea should…

reinforce the brand's relevance in culture.

be simple enough for mass awareness and PR.

speak directly to Gen Z guys and give them a reason to buy AXE.

be easily activated by AXE – no expensive talent or new product development required.


Changes in societal views of masculinity and sexuality left AXE in need of cultural realignment. The brand sought help from The Martin Agency to understand Gen Z’s definition of relationships and continue its role as a catalyst for attraction. The result was "The New AXE Effect," the idea that smelling irresistible unleashes fantastical attraction.


In a digitally native world, scent has lost its power.


Scent’s role in attraction is still prevalent in a way that’s existed for centuries: scent sharing

From knights' handkerchiefs to soldiers' scented love letters, mementos of smell have long played a role in courtship. What was once a letterman jacket that smelled like his cologne is now a hoodie that smells like his body spray.


Demonstrate "The AXE Effect" through the power of scent-sharing in a way that’s authentic to Gen Z by owning the cultural phenomenon of hoodie "borrowing."


The AXE-Scented Replacement Hoodie

Phase 1

AXE apologizes for the over-effectiveness of "The AXE Effect."

By issuing an apology, AXE claims responsibility for the "borrowed" hoodie phenomenon and teases plans to make amends. 

In addition to OOH retail placements, The Apollogy is shared on the brand's Instagram and Twitter.

Before providing further information, AXE allows consumers to engage.

Phase 2

AXE introduces a Hoodie Replacement Program.

In an effort to make amends, AXE offers consumers a chance to win a limited edition AXE-scented hoodie. 

Rollout video is shared across AXE socials and placed as pre-roll on Twitch and YouTube.

Phase 3

AXE offers consumers a chance to win an AXE-scented replacement hoodie.

In-store product purchase is the price of entry.

Endcap features copy printed directly onto hoodie, providing context for anyone who may have missed preceding communications.

Scanning a QR code on product packaging provides consumers with access to an AXE landing page where they can register to win.

The Team

Cameron Sharer (CW), Becka Hammond (AD), Kyle Brubaker (AD), Jamie Ikley (XD)