Axe debuts street-inspired makeover with fresh packaging for Gen Z audience

By Austyn King | Published: 8-Mar-2021

Design agency PB Creative worked with the Unilever-owned brand to create graffiti-inspired designs for its deodorant and body care products

Unilever-owned deodorant brand Axe has refreshed its brand image with a splash of vibrant new packaging in an effort to further connect with its Gen Z target audience.

Working with design agency and long time partner PB Creative, the brand was inspired by street art in its mission to propel the male grooming stalwart – which goes by the name Lynx in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand – to more vibrant and progressive territory with a focus on self-expression.

To create the designs, PB Creative created detailed backstories for each of Axe's fragrances, including Africa, Apollo, Black , Excite and Temptation, and worked with street artist Ben Tallon on the graffiti-inspired illustrations to accompany each product.

Speaking about the new packaging, Ben Lambert, co-founder and creative partner at PB Creative, said: “‘Expression’ is the future for Axe that will re-define what the brand stands for.

“This is the beginning of an exciting journey which will see the brand engage with consumers on a higher level through increasingly compelling and desirable Axe brand expressions.”

The 'edgy' new look is part of the brand's ongoing efforts to adapt and evolve to the changing needs of its target audience of young men, which last year saw it release a string of more innovative and unusual scents including Leather & Cookies, as well as a 'love it or hate it' team-up with breakfast spread Marmite for a limited edition fragrance and body care range.

Meanwhile, Axe also partnered with hit Netflix series Sex Education to encourage self-confidence in its teen audience through sharing real-life dating stories, introduced by characters from the show.

Marco Montanaro, Senior Brand Manager at Unilever, added: “PB has brought the brand back to its roots but with a new focus and energy.

“The graffiti-led approach feels more ‘street’ with massive opportunities for exciting brandworld activations.

“The brand is now very much where we want and need it to be – characterful, with a ‘cult-like’ edge.”

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