BBH’s David Kolbusz goes to infinity and beyond for Axe
Axe has forever been on the mission to make men irresistible. Well this time they've really out done themselves with a campaign that is set to have earthmen broadcasting their studliness into the solar system and beyond. BBH has created the Axe Apollo Space Academy in order to send hapless young chaps into orbit – after all, nothing beats an astronaut. They’ve also recruited a certain Mr Aldrin – yes, that’s real-life moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. Addison Capper spoke to deputy ECD of BBH London David Kolbusz to find out more.
LBB> What was the brief from the client and what were your immediate thoughts when you saw it?
DK> The brief from the client was to create a campaign of connected pieces to help launch an as-yet-to-be-determined new variant of Axe/Lynx for 2013. We had a variety of ideas in development, but the idea of sending young men to space and the notion of the astronaut as this ultimate aspirational hero seemed too irresistible not to explore.
LBB> Strategically, what do you think this campaign will achieve for the brand?
DK> The brand has always been about giving young men confidence and increasing their appeal in the eyes of women. An activation platform like sending these guys to space feels like it answers that brief. With all the bits of working coming through on the campaign, hopefully it'll prove as entertaining for the guys on the ground as those being launched into orbit.
LBB> What did director Tim Godsall bring to the final production?
DK> Tim was absolutely fantastic. The mis-direct is such an important part of the film so the first 50 seconds needed to play out like an action feature. Then the reveal of the astronaut needed to be pitch-perfect in its comic absurdity. Tim had the versatility and expertise to handle both. Plus, he gives a great backrub.
LBB> How does this campaign add to the existing brand heritage?
DK> As young men change, it's important for the brand to evolve to suit their tastes. Guys are getting older, younger now so I think a lot of the work you see from the brand tends to be a little more adult than some of the great work that's gone in the past.
LBB> Did the idea of involving Buzz Aldrin come about early or late in the production process? Once he was on board, what was it like working with him?
DK> Having Buzz on board always seemed like an unbelievable coup in terms of adding legitimacy to the project. The idea of getting him involved came pretty early on. He's been great through this whole process. Very enthusiastic but also putting us through the paces to make sure all the pieces add up. He is, after all, a real astronaut.
LBB> How long did it take to fully develop the concept and what were the key challenges you faced?
DK> Something of this size takes an awfully long time to develop. Our client, Tomas Marcenaro, and his team deserve a particularly big shout out for managing the process globally at Unilever. We did the fancy-schmancy creative work, but Tomy and co. were on the ground day in and day out making sure all the Axe/Lynx markets were happy. It's been an exhausting process on both sides, but well worth while.
Client names and titles:
Tomas Marcenaro - Global Brand Director
Jim Brennan - Global Brand Manager
Michael Coden - Global Assistant Brand Manager
BBH Creative Team: Wesley Hawes and Gary McCreadie, Diego Oliveira and Caio Giannella
BBH Creative Director: David Kolbusz
BBH Producer: Ruben Mercadal
BBH Assistant Producer: George Ancock
BBH Head of Strategy: Jonathan Bottomley
BBH Strategic Business Lead: Ngaio Pardon
BBH Strategy Director: Tim Jones
BBH Team Director: Tom Murphy
BBH Team Manager: Jennifer Omran
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Director: Tim Godsall
Executive Producer: Orlando Wood
Producer: Rick Jarjoura
DoP: Jess Hall
Post Production: Framestore
Sound Design: Phaze UK / Raja Sehgal @ Grand Central Studios, London
Sound Mixing / Arrangement : Raja Sehgal @ Grand Central Studios, London
Music: Human (Los Angeles / New York)
Edit House: Work
Editor: Rich Orrick
Exposure (where is this work running, country and media type): Global TV, Online, Print