Axe tells ’personalised’ Romeo and Juliet story to Brazillians


Unilever's deodorant brand Axe has taken a novel approach to video ads in Brazil, using a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ video ad that can be served programmatically with a massive 100,000 variations, depending on a user’s interests.

AXE. Romeo Reboot Manuel | Trailer (english) from THE KUMITE on Vimeo.

The ads, created by Interpublic agency Cubocc, can alter the story to incorporate a sci-fi or crime genre depending on a user’s online interest.

The campaign, called Romeo Reboot, is in Portuguese and while there are currently no plans to run it outside Brazil, Unilever marketers are considering whether the customised format could be used for other campaigns.

The result is something that Matheus Barros, who runs the New York office and helms strategy for the shop globally, believes both creatives and consumers will want to engage with more than the less-ambitious programmatic creative offerings to date.

The campaign, launched last month, breaks the Axe target consumer into four segments, offering 25,000 permutations to each segment, or 100,000 in all. Working with research firm Box1824, CUBOCC segmented the target clusters -- based on such factors as musical tastes, brands they identified with and other consumption preferences -- into Artsy, Fresh, Naturals and Roots groups.

Of 11 scenes in the trailer, six can vary according to the viewer's profile. The agency validated the segmentation by serving different versions of the trailer to people in the target groups as part of a test that monitored how well people completed viewing and otherwise responded. As the campaign runs in Brazilian digital media, the agency keeps optimizing the results based on how people are responding.

Customization in the trailers ranges from subtle to extensive, with a range of music, sexual and romantic content. Some versions show a man in an office. Others focus more on nighttime crime-story action or sci-fi action featuring a cyclops.

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