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AXE body spray and deodorant is fading, according to social media data

1 month ago by Jared Russo in Markets

The year is 2004. Every single locker room reeks of one substance in the air, one smell, that united us all. It was Axe Body Spray, one of the brands from Unilever ($NYSE:UN), and we all smelled it somewhere, whether we liked it or not. But social media data shows that consumer interest in the once-ubiquitous odor deceiver is waning.

Axe is getting the ax.

The Axe Facebook page has been losing Likes and followers at a rate of 5% year over year since at least 2017. That a significant drop, because on Facebook losing followers means that users are manually "unliking" the brand, which is as much an indictment as any social media marketing manager will see. "Talking About" count is also down significantly, seeing a plunge of 90% from the high a few years ago, signaling that fewer people are mentioning the brand.

Twitter followers have also been sinking, where the Axe account has lost more than 7% of its following over the last three years. All of this data is declining, and there isn't any reason to suggest it's going back up anytime soon. Maybe people are more interested in Lynx? Or Tag? Or maybe we moved away from spray altogether because of the environment?

The answer might lie in our Amazon best-selling data, where Unilever's more "mature" brand Dove Men+, has been absolutely dominating when it comes to deodorant sales at Amazon. and also where Axe products have failed to rank during the past couple years:

Name

Category Rank (Average)

Days Ranked

Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant, Extra Fresh 2.7 oz (Twin Pack)

26.9

133

Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick, Extra Fresh 2.7 oz, Twin Pack

33.6

81

Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick, Extra Fresh 2.7 Ounce, Twin Pack

26.4

7

Art Naturals Magnesium Oil 12 Oz - Best Natural Deodorant - Reduces Migraines | Sore Muscle and Joint Relief

69.0

6

Suave Antiperspirant Deodorant, Sweet Pea and Violet 2.6 oz, Twin Pack

44.0

4

Secret Clinical Strength, Smooth Solid Women's Antiperspirant & Deodorant Waterproof All Day Fresh Scent 2.6 Ounce

49.7

3

PiperWai Natural Deodorant 2 oz

40.5

2

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap, White, 10 Count (Pack of 3)

42.5

2

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap, White, 4 oz. BARS, 10 Count (Pack of 3)

34.0

2

Dove go fresh Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, Cool Essentials Cucumber &Green Tea, 2.6 oz, Twin Pack

20.0

2

The Men+Care line products have been selling well since it was launched, and, maybe not so coincidentally, right when Axe saw a decline in interest. Despite Axe's sales, the brand might not be as cool as it was in 2004, when we all just used it because that was what you bought. Or maybe.....

.....maybe young people don't like using deodorant anymore? Is smelling nice not "hip" enough for young people online? What gives?

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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