Women have had a better perception of Unilever’s Axe brand than men since the company launched its first fragrance in the US targeting both sexes, Anarchy.
In early January, men and women had relatively equal perceptions of the Axe brand. A couple of weeks later, women began breaking away in a positive direction while men remained stable in their perception.
Once the fragrance premiered its cheeky “Unleash the chaos” Anarchy ads showing both men and women succumbing to the “Axe effect,” woman’s perception levels nearly doubled before dipping a bit more recently. Men, on the other hand, showed a similar although less dramatic movement immediately after the launch, but have since settled back down to pre-launch scores.
Women currently have a better perception of Axe than their male counterparts, and by a significant amount.
Axe was measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Considering Axe had been a male-only brand until earlier this month, this “parting of the ways” might seem to be driven by the new product. But according to YouGov’s Ted Marzilli, This is a pattern that has appeared on a somewhat regular basis since YouGov began tracking the brand in December of 2010. “Over the past two plus years of tracking the Axe brand, with just a few exceptions, women have always had a higher perception of the brand than men.
On January 2nd, Axe’s perception with men and women was quite close: men had a 29 buzz score and women had a 26 score. When Anarchy debuted on January 31st, the men buzz score remained steady at 29 while it nearly doubled to 53 for women. The Men’s score currently stands at 25, back to earlier levels. The women’s buzz score for Axe is now 41, down considerably since its peak, but still ahead of men by a comfortable margin.