MTV Networks Partners With AXE Hair to Solve the Guys' Hair Crisis

Mar 02, 2009
By ViacomCBS Staff

On-Air Programming Drive Launches across MTV, COMEDY CENTRAL, VH1 and SPIKE

MTV Networks (MTVN), a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today joined AXE Hair, a brand of Unilever, by launching a massive on-air programming drive in support of the AXE Hair Crisis Relief campaign across MTV, COMEDY CENTRAL, VH1 and SPIKE. The effort is the largest on-air integrated marketing campaign MTVN and Unilever have ever executed, encompassing nearly 50 original pieces, that total more than 40 minutes of co-branded creative content developed across the channels. The entire series of short-form and interstitial programming will ultimately drive to a culminating viewing event during MTV's "See You Sunday" programming block on Sunday, March 15.

"With our diverse brands and world class creative teams, MTV Networks is uniquely qualified to elevate the AXE Hair Crisis Relief campaign to a broad variety of audiences with highly targeted content," said John Shea, Executive Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Brand Partnerships, MTV Networks.

"This effort with AXE Hair demonstrates not only our commitment to innovative partnerships, but also the scale at which we can execute customized, creative integrations across our brands," said Dario Spina, senior vice president of integrated marketing, MTVN Entertainment Group.

The Guys' Hair Crisis

The truth is, girls care about guys' hair, but bad hair is hurting guys' game and they have no idea. AXE talked to more than 2,000 girls and found that nearly 74 percent of girls agree that hair is one of the first things they notice about a guy. However, when AXE talked to guys, 85 percent said their hair is pretty good, but less than half of girls agree guys have great hair.

Upon uncovering this disconnect, AXE knew there was a real silent hair crisis and saw a tremendous opportunity to meet guys' needs and help them navigate the mating game. In December of 2008, AXE launched AXE Hair -- a full line of shampoos, conditioner and styling products that are specifically designed to create hair that guys want and girls love.

"We're thrilled that MTV Networks answered our call to help the crisis through this broad-scale, multi-faceted partnership," said David Rubin, marketing director for AXE Hair. "AXE is always looking for ways to take advertising beyond the traditional 30-second spot and we're very proud of this content."

The Partnership

The partnership with MTV Networks allows AXE Hair to provide the consumer value in the form of entertainment and humor, creating numerous touchpoints, talkability and excitement about the new AXE Hair line and AXE Hair Crisis Relief campaign. As an outgrowth of the upfront, Unilever and Mindshare challenged MTV Networks to deliver never been done before ideas that communicate AXE's messaging in a unique and differentiating way.

"MTV Networks was able to realize this vision across complementary networks, each in their own authentic voice, while staying true to the brand. We have partnered with MTV before on our launch of Dove Fresh Takes and saw this as an opportunity to take innovation and our partnership to the next level," said Melissa Shapiro, Managing Director, Mindshare.

MTV will lead the charge with the creation of more than 15 original short-form pieces on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU, including success stories vignettes, a custom song and ringtone, exclusive AXE Hair Crisis Relief music video and finale telethon all airing March 15. Over the next several weeks, COMEDY CENTRAL will air spoof news vignettes on the crisis, VH1 will air micro-episodes developed around its "Best Week Ever" and "Best Day Ever" series and SPIKE will feature the AXE Hair Crisis Relief campaign in its "Men of Action," "Star Wars Roommates," "Playbook," "Weekend Pre-Game" and "Late Night Strip" properties. All of the creative across MTV, COMEDY CENTRAL, VH1 and SPIKE will drive tune-in to MTV on March 15.

Additionally, an AXE Hair Crisis Relief ringtone spot, produced by MTV with the assistance of AXE Hair, will run on more than 13,000 screens in more than 1,300 theaters across 48 states, also driving tune-in to MTV on March 15.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company's portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.


AXE, a leader in men's grooming, is an iconic personal care brand around the world that helps guys look, smell and feel their best. The Unilever- manufactured brand is available in a line of deodorant bodysprays, deodorant and anti-perspirant sticks, shower gels and hair care products. Axe is the No. 1 male Anti-Perspirant Deodorant brand in the U.S. The shower gel, launched in 2005, reached No. 1 status five months after hitting shelves. The brand's mission is to help guys get the girl with grooming products that reflect individual personality and lifestyle. For more information, visit


Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. In the United States, the portfolio includes major brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 14,000 people in both the United States and Puerto Rico -- generating nearly $11 billion in sales in 2007. For more information, visit

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Mark Jafar of MTV Networks,
Heather Mitchell, of Unilever HPC-NA