Trying to Sell Without Selling

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article about Unilever’s efforts to promote Axe deodorant by producing a television series called “The Gamekillers”. It details the sometimes contentious negotiations between Unilever — who wanted to make sure that viewers got the connection between the program and Axe — and MTV, who feared that an explicit connection would turn viewers off.

The end result was an entertaining show that may or may not have contributed to Unilever’s bottom line. Axe sales increased 60% in 2006, so obviously Unilever did something right. But without any response mechanism besides a Gamekillers Myspace page, how do you measure the results?

My white paper, “The Seven Deadly Advertising Mistakes and How to Fix Them” is still available at no charge. It neither recommends nor opposes creating your own television series, although right now I’m leaning against the idea. Click to download your copy


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One thought on “Trying to Sell Without Selling

  1. Axe is definitely not new to trying different ways of advertising. Just last week, I was in Wal-Mart, and noticed a young girl walking around the aisles in the automotive department. I didn’t think much of it, except that she kept walking back and forth. Finally, she approached me, I noticed she had “Axe” on her shirt, and asked me if I wanted to try the new Axe fragrance.

    I don’t know if Wal-Mart knew she was there or not, but it was definitely a different way of getting the word out.

    I didn’t buy any Axe, though.