72andSunny has won global creative work for Unilever's Axe account, Unilever said Thursday.
The marketer said 72andSunny, which will lead the account out of its Amsterdam office, will begin work immediately and will include a "significant global project," according to a statement. 72andSunny is expected to be leading creative going forward. The review was handled without a consultant.
Global creative duties on Axe up to now have been split between BBH in London and New York and Lowe and Partners' Ponce, Buenos Aries. A Unilever statement said that "Unilever will continue to work with other incumbent agencies for Axe," but did not elaborate beyond that. BBH also handles work for Unilever's Vaseline and Dove Men.
Pablo Gazzera, senior VP for Axe, said in a statement: "We rely on a balance of long term agency relationships and fresh insight on specific projects to get the best results for Axe -- and we are delighted to welcome the team from 72andSunny Amsterdam to work on the brand. They have a proven track-record, and we have no doubt that they will deliver fantastic results for Axe."
The hire comes as Unilever is set to review its massive media buying and planning account.
Unilever reportedly spent $8.3 billion last year in global advertising at current exchange rates, which would include around $1.4 billion in agency and production fees. It is the 28th-largest ad spender in the U.S., according to Ad Age's DataCenter, having spent $815.7 million on measured media in 2013, the last full year of available spending data. Axe spent about $67 million on U.S. measured media in 2013, roughly the same as sibling brand Degree. The only Unilever brand to spend more in the U.S. was Dove, which spent $195 million.
"Axe is a legendary brand which has consistently impacted culture," said Carlo Cavallone, executive creative director at 72andSunny, in a statement. "As men and manliness change and progress, Axe will be at the forefront of the next evolution."
Contributing: Jack Neff