Axe 'Find your Magic'

Axe was reinventing its brand. Its ‘Find your magic’ campaign from 72&Sunny gives young guys the confidence to celebrate their individuality, and frees them to unleash their style from within – all with the help of Axe grooming products. SapientNitro’s pitch brief was to help Axe live this purpose in the digital space. 

During the early stages of strategic and creative development, I worked with the strategy, design and UX teams to shape a set of experience principles around which the final user journeys and designs were created.

SapientNitro won the pitch, becoming Unilever’s global digital agency of record for Axe. The new site went live in 2016. Axe went on to become the UK's fastest-growing brand in 2016-17, increasing its brand value by 91% in the Brand Finance annual report.

Project Details


Bring Axe’s new ‘Find your magic’ campaign to life in the digital space.

Our response was built on three key audience insights:
• The ‘Iceberg of Manliness’ – young men like to research in private, safe environments before flaunting their supposedly ‘effortless’ cool in public spaces
• Young men are very functional and goal-orientated in their online behaviour
• Young men lack confidence around their personal care and grooming choices

From these insights we crafted a set of experience principles, around which the final user journeys and designs were created.

Experience Principles

Help young men gain confidence
The fact that Reddit is one of the most popular places for young men to discuss style and grooming indicates that they are actively looking for style tips, albeit behind closed doors. should meet this need by delivering an environment that is both visually rich and authoritative, as well as being somewhere guys feel comfortable searching and sharing information. Mobile can be tool that can help guys feel more confident articulating the style they want to a barber or hairstylist.

Inspire and educate
Let men be inspired by partners, peers and opinion leaders who can influence them in changing their style. Taking inspiration from men’s fashion services such as Thread, a team of virtual stylists or ‘Axeperts’ will learn about users' existing style preferences and provide a stream of inspiration and ideas on new directions in which to take it.

Enable expression
Help young men unleash their creativity by helping them find, achieve and maintain a style that expresses their individuality.

Surface editorial content
Style doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We’ll create engaging content that talks about style in terms of its cultural context – the times, people and places in which many contemporary styles have their roots. Associated content will take about how particular clothing and accessory choices can help shape an individual style.

Guide the user to the right purchase
Make it effortless and uncomplicated to find the right style and products. Rather than putting product front and centre, we’ll surface product recommendations at appropriate moments in the journey alongside relevant editorial content so that they feel like helpful bits of advice on how to find your magic.

Use passive and active personalisation
Deliver value to the user by personalising his content both through what he chooses to tell us about himself and his style, and what we can learn about him from his interactions with the site. Customisation of products and personalised gifting is an opportunity to embed the central brand purpose of celebrating individuality in the product itself.

Elevate the user’s status
Once young men have ‘found their magic, provide a platform from which to share their magic with the world through Axe’s social channels, featuring them on the website and potentially even in Axe digital brand comms.

Maintain and retain
We want the value we provide to drive ongoing relationships and loyalty from our user base. We’ll use the data we gather from each user to drive retention with CRM activity that enables guys to maintain their style at home, inspires them to try ‘adjacent’ styles for their hair type, and suggest the relevant Axe products that will help them do so.

Client: Unilever
Agency: SapientNitro
Role: Creative Director