10/06/2014 02:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2014

Axe's Appeal: Make Love, Not War

The world would become so much better place if there was more love and compassion. But unfortunately, we see a lot of evil each and every day. The truth is that we are the ones who shape our reality. So why not to create good instead of evil? Why not to make love instead of war? This is exactly what Axe's Peace Campaign encourages young people to do. To let you know more about this wonderful initiative, I was glad to interview Axe's Senior Marketing Director Matthew McCarthy.

Could you please share the purpose of the Axe Peace Campaign?
We know that young people deeply care about the future but may not always have the resources to give back to their communities. Therefore, we wanted to provide a simple way for guys and girls to be a part of such a meaningful cause. We were able to engage this digitally connected generation to start a conversation around peace leading up to Peace Day (Sept. 21) by taking a photo of a kiss, tagging it with #KissForPeace and sharing it online.

What are the other achievements of the campaign for now, and what do you still plan to achieve in the future?
Over 112,000 photos were shared nationwide using #KissForPeace. Additionally, Axe collaborated with creative platform Tongal to task its community members with creating a video that reflected the creator's representation of #KissForPeace, which resulted in four moving videos. The video with the most engagement, "Axe #KissForPeace: Guerilla Kisses" has appeared daily on MTV2 "What's Good" and runs through Peace Day on September 21. Beyond Axe Peace we have some exciting plans in store for the future. We can't wait to share the developments to come.

"Make Love, Not War" Axe Peace's commercial is #1 Super Bowl Commercial of 2014. Did you anticipate such a huge success?
We had high hopes that this commercial would resonate with our target and beyond, but we are blown away by the amount of support it received. So many Axe fans invested in the Super Bowl, and sharing our story through this pop culture moment-in-time was just one way to spread the Axe Peace message to guys and girls across the country. As a result, this spot, along with other activities, helped to ignite conversations around peace that took place worldwide.

Zoran Petrovski, a winning filmmaker from Bulgaria and the director of Axe Peace video project also shared his insight.

What is the Axe Peace Video Project's appeal to you?
The Axe video project was the most incredible thing that I made in my life as a director. I like the idea and I believe in it. Maybe it's a cliche, but the first thought that came into my mind was that we need to be better people. Everything in the future of this world depends on us. And the Axe video project was the best way I can say something to the world. Even if I come from a small European country, my message was spread all over the world. And everybody who will see my video will fill the real emotion and love that I am trying to say.

Before creating the winning video for the Axe Peace Video Project, did you have a strategy on how you wanted to approach the video?
Our challenge was to create one breathtaking masterpiece which provokes true emotions and deep reflections about war in general terms. About the choices people make and the prejudice they have. I chose to show couples that at first glance don't seem to be for each other. I know that everybody who sees my video will now think not with their heart, but with their fear. When seeing a dark skinned girl approaching a skinhead guy, everybody thinks there is a problem. But at the end, when we see that they are kissing, we feel the origin of our problem. And that is the modern world that taught us to have prejudice. When you show the video to a small kid, they will not feel anything.

Briefly, what does a day of global harmony mean to you and how do you think this can be achieved?
We went too far to have a global harmony. The least we can do is to try to be a better people for others around us. My idea that I believe in is that even if I manage to make two people believe in me and they also try to make even two people believe in them, we can make a chain message that can be spread around the world. Every day I work on that, and I hope I will have success. The Axe kiss campaign was the answer of my trying to make the world a better place.

Axe encourages everyone to continue sharing their message of peace and love with their social networks using #KissForPeace as a way to inspire and connect with others. Additionally, they encourage people to get involved with their partner, Peace One Day, which is an international non-profit aimed at raising awareness of peace on Peace Day (Sept. 21) and all year round.

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