Unilever has handed Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) the global account for its Lynx deodorant brand. The brand, called Axe in markets outside the UK, is being launched in the US this month and will be backed by a $90m (&£59m) marketing campaign.
BBH already handles the &£9m Lynx brand in the UK, which was revamped early this year (MW February 28). The company’s roster agency, Lowe, will continue to handle the Latin American account for Lynx/Axe.
Claydon Healey Jones Mason is also understood to be working on the below-the-line US launch. The agency handles the business in the UK.
The Lynx revamp includes a new formula, which the company claims starves the bugs that create body odour. The brand overhaul was in line with Unilever chairman and chief executive Niall Fitzgerald’s “path-to-growth” strategy, which promises an increased focus on core brands such as Dove, Surf and Lynx/Axe.
Industry insiders suggest that the brand name Lynx could soon be changed to Axe, in an attempt to align the brand’s identity globally. The move will be similar to the rebranding of cleaning cream Jif as Cif, two years ago (MW December 7, 2000).
Last year, Unilever promoted European category director for beverages Neil Munn to the position of global brand director for Lynx. Munn reports to senior vice-president of deodorants Geoffrey Probert.
In 2000, the Lynx brand was extended into retail with the opening of two barbershops in the UK. The shops were shut down less than six months later after failing to reach growth targets.