Finding their magic: a year of influence for AXE

Creating an influencer led platform to engage 16 to 21 year old guys.

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Axe had spent years talking about being attractive. But for most young men today, attractiveness isn’t about looking like everyone else. It’s about making meaningful, authentic connections with the world.

So, Axe was dangerously losing relevance. It had just launched a global campaign, ‘Find Your Magic’, which aimed to liberate guys from stereotypical manliness and encourage them to be the most attractive person they can be: themselves. But our younger audiences needed a bit more convincing.

Our challenge was to remodel Axe by creating a social platform that would engage 16 to 21-year-old guys in an innovative and dynamic way.

We realised that to many young guys, ‘finding their magic’ was a work in progress. We needed to position Axe as a source of inspiration – not from a group of models, but from guys they could actually relate to.

In early 2018, Axe’s ‘Year of Magic’ on Instagram had begun.

We worked closely with the Axe teams and their audience segmentation to identify four global passions for our youth audience: style, dance, gaming and music.

Against each of these we used digital data sources – Spike, PEG and Crimson Hexagon – to identify micro-influencers relevant for our audience who could share a unique story about their passion, talent, attitude and individual style. This included a self-taught dancer from London, a skateboarder from the Bronx, a football freestyler from Brazil, and a Moroccan street photographer.

For each influencer, we then created a suite of Instagram feed posts, that would interconnect to form a virtual grid, with each grid containing four types of content:

Passion points: Each influencer focused on one passion point. Their posts could then be converted into locally-targeted digital assets based on key passion points.
Product shout-outs: The product plays an active role in the grooming routine for of all our influencers. Each product post was also converted into a secondary targeted paid media post, to further highlight Axe’s style credentials.

Life & Style: Our influencers shared their preferences for life and style. These posts included partnership links with key events (like Gamescon) or brand ambassadors (like Lil Yachty).

Magic: Our influencers all shared their magic: what makes them, them, as well as the journey that got them there, to inspire our audience to be themselves. These posts were then tagged with the influencer’s friends and supporters to introduce Axe to that community.

We helped Axe move from an outdated, fragmented and inconsistent communications platform to an innovative, scalable social platform that celebrated modern masculinity in a relatable and authentic way. 

As a result, we grew followers by 13%, engagement by 14% and unaided brand awareness by 5% (all year-on-year).

 And this is just the beginning.


Our vision is to inspire brands and people to impact the world. To create big ideas that make a significant contribution to the planet, society, and the bottom line.   We believe in today’s world this is the best way for our clients to achieve sustainable growth.   We achieve this by breaking down the barriers that restrict talent and ideas.   

Which is why our teams work fluidly across 5 capabilities: Advertising, Innovation, Experience, PR and Health.   This allows us to not only operate but innovate at the intersection of capabilities and talent.  We believe impact and magic lies at this intersection.   Ogilvy scales this by seamlessly connecting and accessing the deep cultural expertise of 132 offices in 83 countries.    

The result is multifaceted ideas for our clients that drive impact and are born from the intersection of platform x culture x technology.     

We call this Borderless Creativity.