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Tech helps brands corner the market

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Unilver has used a mix of "sex sells" and 21st century to market its popular deodorant brand Axe.

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- When Unilever launched its deodorant brand Axe it was quick to adopt the "sex sells" philosophy, adapting it to fit in with the 21st century.

The British consumer goods giant believes Axe, first launched in France in 1983 and known in some parts of the world as Lynx, is now the world's most popular male grooming brand and it is confident its marketing formula is a winning one.

The company backs up its aggressive and in-your-face marketing with a sophisticated advertising campaign that uses different mediums modern men are all too familiar with -- the Web, Blogs, cell phones and games.

Integral to Unilever's strategy -- which has seen 20 percent year-on-year growth -- is the Axe Web site.

Axemansion.com is an interactive site, set in a penthouse apartment full of beautiful, scantily-clad women who direct "visitors" to the games room, lounge, bedroom and even bathroom.

Jez Jowett, head of London-based creative agency Cake New Media which designed the Web site, told CNN that a user-friendly Web site could work extremely well to target key demographics.

"The idea behind the site and the experience online was to try and make it immersive so that they went to it and wanted to go back again and again and again, but also to appeal to what they like to do," he said.

"So, they like to play games, they like clips, they like to be rewarded and they like to win things. So it was a question of putting all those ingredients into one place online and that's effectively how the Axe mansion came about."

Unilever global brand director Neil Munn told CNN that technology was providing a range of new platforms for advertisers, including his own company, to expose their brands.

"Technology is clearly having a big impact on the way we try and build our brands at Unilever, particularly on a brand like Axe, which is targeted at 12- to 24-year-old guys who are the most media-savvy and technologically savvy generation ever," he said.

"We are increasingly moving to a more interactive-based communication platform to make sure we're engaged and relevant with these guys."

CNN's Justin Armsden contributed to this report.

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