Can Axe help gamers improve their performance?

By Julia Wray | Published: 3-Nov-2021

A slight uplift in performance was detected across four participants wearing Axe body spray

Men’s fragrance brand Axe has teamed up with the world’s top streamers to test the theory that wearing Axe body spray can help improve gaming ability.

The Unilever-owned label, also known as Lynx and Ego in select geographies, set out to discover if Axe’s confidence-boosting powers, previously demonstrated in a Liverpool University study of 2009 (Manipulation of body odour alters men's self-confidence and judgements of their visual attractiveness by women), could influence overall gaming ability by 0.1%.

Conducted ahead of the Grand Finals for multiplayer online battle game League of Legends, this ‘0.1% Effect’ experiment was conducted in partnership with renowned gamers from across the globe: Germany’s Lpgjustjohnny, RossBoomSocks (UK), Robertocein (Mexico) and Xchocobars from Canada.

Each participant received a kit ahead of the experiment, which included a monitoring band and Axe body spray.

In the first ‘control’ phase the gamers played without using Axe, while phase two involved them competing having applied body spray.

Upon completion, scientists recorded participants’ vitals and changes between each phase.

The results showed a slight uplift in performance detected – roughly aggregated to 0.1% across the four participants.

Axe plans to widen the sample size by inviting additional gamers to test its sprays’ ‘confidence-boosting’ powers.

Neuroscientist Dr Rachel Herz, who teamed up with Axe to analyse these results, noted: "I am not at all surprised to see that Axe had a positive effect on two of the subjects' performance.

“Scents have the ability to alter our emotions and moods more than any other sensory experience. This is because of the unique connection in the brain where scent, emotion, memories and associations are processed."

"Axe was designed to make young people look, feel and smell their best and through our 0.1% Effect experiment, we explored whether it could even help them game at their best," added Mark Lodwick, Axe’s Brand Director.

"As an Official Partner of League of Legends, we collaborated with notable League of Legends streamers to test the theory that smelling good can impact confidence and in turn, game play."

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