Unilever Canada Turns to Ariad for Degree

Toronto Shop Will Develop Strategy for the Deodorant Brand

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Unilever Canada has named Toronto-based independent Ariad its lead marketing agency for both the Degree Men and Degree Women antiperspirants and deodorants, a role that will have the agency shaping strategy for the brand.

For Ariad, the win builds on an already strong relationship with Unilever Canada. It has worked with the marketer for nearly two decades on brands such as Knorr, Lipton, Slim-Fast and Becel.

President Michael Beckerman said the account win comes on top of two years of stellar growth for the agency. Ariad has expanded its work with existing clients and, six months ago, won business with Vespa, Paggio's popular scooter brand. It also has Nike on its roster. Mr. Beckerman declined to share more business details because Ariad is privately held.

Ariad will lead strategic marketing efforts on Degree and collaborate with other agencies. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, New York, handles the traditional work on the account. The previous agency was Segal Communications.

"[The people at Unilever] are pioneers in how to work in multi-agency environment to get the very best thinking and very best actions from their agency partners," Mr. Beckerman said.

Ariad was founded in 1989 and specialized in branded content before the term became part of popular business vernacular, Mr. Beckerman said. It started out creating newsletters for financial companies, then moved into the digital realm.

Mr. Beckerman called Ariad a "channel-agnostic" marketing-services agency with a staff of 60. It provides strategic direction for on- and offline campaigns and specializes in new and social media but does not develop creative for TV, radio or print advertising.

"We're a good-quality agency that no one's ever heard of," he said.

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