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By Audrey Kemp | Junior Reporter

July 21, 2022 | 3 min read

To remain “fresh” and relevant among Gen Z guys, AXE has chosen Lil Baby to front its new ‘Fresh as Fr*sh’ campaign, which comprises a TV advert as well as a limited-edition product set that a few lucky participants can soon win.

Men’s grooming brand AXE is trying to grab the attention of Gen Z guys by featuring award-winning rapper Lil Baby along with his 2020 single “All In” in its latest campaign, “Fresh as Fr*sh.”

The 30-second spot, produced by Richmond, VA’s The Martin Agency, aims to illustrate the 48-hour sweat protection of AXE’s antiperspirant stick. The advert follows a young man who blasts out of his ski-high apartment for a sunny car ride with Lil Baby and several animated rabbits. Once strapped in, an older man winks at him while popping a wheelie in his electric shopping cart. By the end, the guy finds himself at a lively rooftop gathering with a beautiful woman, who is visibly taken by the young man’s fresh scent, despite his event-filled day.

The Fresh as Fr*sh campaign aims to show how AXE helps guys smell and feel fresh, and can give them an extra boost of confidence, according to AXE’s global brand director Caroline Gregory. “We are a brand with unapologetic swagger wherever we show up, and we’re confident in ourselves so our guys can be confident in us,” she tells The Drum.

Moreover, partnering with Lil Baby represents part of AXE’s ultimate goal to becoming the “go-to fragrance” for Gen Z men. “Lil Baby exudes a level of freshness and confidence that we see resonating with Gen Z guys everywhere,” Gregory adds. “As the No. 1 men’s fragrance brand, we wanted to partner with someone who matches our passion for keeping guys feeling and smelling fresh. On top of that, Lil Baby is an AXE user – and keeps AXE Apollo on his tour rider at all times – so it made sense to swipe right with someone who has an authentic connection to our fragrance.”

lil baby poses with the "WHAXE" ring

In tandem with the campaign, AXE and Lil Baby will jointly release a limited-edition “WHAXE” pack. A cheeky combination of AXE’s name and the rapper’s nickname “Wham,” and “W,” which is a Gen Z term for “winning,” the pack features a deodorant sick, body wash, a “blinged-out” four-finger ring and a WHAXE branded toothbrush. WHAXE Packs will not be available for purchase, but rather available for fans to win on social. The brand will announce how in the coming weeks.

According to Gregory, AXE has made significant changes to its marketing strategy in recent years in order to reach its key demographic. This includes casting certain music and “over-the-top visuals” driven by meme culture in its adverts, and leveraging online spaces where that demographic spends a large portion of their time, such as online video game Fortnite, social media site TikTok and streaming platform Twitch.

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